Whether it's Kim Kardashian uploading picture after picture to Instagram or your roommate posting a mid-vacation shot to Facebook, selfies receive mixed reactions. But are selfies more than, as many critics lament, a symptom of a self-absorbed generation?
Digital native Alicia Eler's The Selfie Generation is the first book to delve fully into this ubiquitous and much-maligned part of social media, including why people take them in the first place and the ways they can change how we see ourselves. Eler argues that selfies are just one facet of how we can use digital media to create a personal brand in the modern age. More than just a picture, they can be a positive and important part of a conversation.
Eler examines all aspects of selfies and the generation that has grown up with them. She looks at how the boundaries between people's physical and digital lives have blurred with social media; she explores questions of privacy, consent, ownership, and authenticity; and she points out important issues of sexism and double standards wherein women are encouraged to take them but then become subject to criticism and judgment. The Selfie Generation is a compelling and fascinating argument for the power of the selfie and a rebuttal to all those who would dismiss them.
Alicia Eler is a journalist based in Minneapolis. A contributor to New York Magazine, the Guardian, VICE, LA Weekly, Aperture, Artforum, Hyperallergic, Art21 magazine, and MEL magazine. Her coverage of selfie culture has been featured in Jerry Saltz's New York Magazine article "Art at Arm's Length: A History of the Selfie" and in the Washington Post. She has been cited and featured as an expert or contributor in many publications including the Atlantic, Buzzfeed, Daily Dot, Daily Mail, Gawker, Psychology Today, and VICE.