Seflies are ‘Out’ – Uglies are ‘In’ – Teens Leading the Trend
The Oxford English Dictionary’s 2013 word of the year, “Selfie” is now being replaced by a new trend known as “uglies”.
Social networking authorities blame the glamorous images portrayed by the media for young teens’ desire to receive approval from their peers by sharing “selfies.” Although 2013 was characterized by a variety of “selfie” styles such as the “sexy selfie” or the “cute selfie,” which require extensive preparation and hours of trial and error to get the perfect shot, a new kind of portrait is gaining momentum. Once viewed positively on social networks, these effortful selfies are now being viewed as a nuisance by social media users and are even believed to be a potential indicator of low self-esteem. Lack of self-confidence is an age-old issue facing teens of all ages as mainstream media continues to place value on glamour and “perfection,” as if there is such a thing. It’s about time that a trend began allowing teens to change the course of what’s popular in the media while simultaneously exhibiting confidence in one’s natural image.
In retaliation to the selfie trend, many teens have adopted the 2014 trend of “uglies”. Uglies, typically shared through social media, are photos that closely resemble selfies except for one major difference: the goal is to take the most unflattering photo possible. When it comes to uglies, the less flattering the better, and unlike selfies, they don’t have the same narcissistic and self-obsessed undertones. Uglies have also been associated with higher levels of self-confidence and enable youth to “strip the conventional approaches to prettiness.”
Selfies are not always glam-shots characterized by preparation to achieve the “perfect” shot, but when young teens become upset by minimal feedback from peers in their social network, it is likely an indication that their photos are not a display of self-confidence, but rather of the desire for approval from others and dissatisfaction with the self. It is important that teens come to understand that their natural appearance makes them unique and “beauty” is subjective, not defined by the photoshopped publications of fashion magazines and celebrities.
They may seem silly and excessive, but “uglies” are a social media trend popularized by youth and have positive impacts on teens’ self-esteem and image confidence.
Another place teens are changing the social media landscape: Yoursphere