Thursday, February 7, 2013

Is the "ugly" selfie an act of liberation?

I have just been alerted to a phenomenon, including a tumblr, called 'pretty girls, ugly faces'.

From what I saw it involved conventionally attractive women posing in contorted ways so they appeared to be ugly NOT women across the broad spectrum of appearance choosing to pose as themselves, warts and all.

As an example, there is a large difference between a woman with actual double chins choosing to pose for a selfie in a way that does not disguise that double chin and a thin woman posing in a way that creates a false double chin (most of the examples I saw seemed to feature the false double chin, I guess confirming that this is indeed officially 'ugly').

One is an act of fuck you, this is who I am and I refuse to be ashamed. For me, the other feels less like liberation and more like mockery.

While the term privilege is primarily used in reference to race, class and gender, body/looks privilege is also a very real phenomenon. For those, particularly women, who fall outside the narrow parameters of what is considered attractive (or even acceptable) there are real consequences (social, workplace, pay).

I hate to be a spoilsport, and to even raise the term privilege, but honestly to me "pretty girls, ugly faces" reeks of it.


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  2. What's also interesting about this is that these 'pretty girls' don't realise that their own faces make themselves into these 'ugly' shapes probably everyday, but an expression is fleeting, it''s the captured image that they think is grotesque.

    They will all be able to come to terms with what double chin really means soon enough - who'll be mocking then?

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