Terça-feira, 16/7/2019 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

From philosophy to social media: The aesthetics of selfies revealed

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With the rise of social media and the selfie era,  the term aesthetic now frequents more than just art class. Besides goals of achieving the perfect selfie, various accounts have been created on sites such as Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook entirely dedicated to these aesthetic preferences. But has this term slowly transformed into a bastardization of the once considered philosophy? Does this meaning now negatively affect high school students?

An example of a modern aesthetic created by Julià Franch Escuer.

The word “aesthetic” derives from the Greek term “aisetike,” The aesthetics of ancient Greece can be found in their famous architecture under the law of the “Golden Ratio.” The word itself wasn’t coined until 1735 by the philosopher Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, according to New World Encyclopedia.

Back then, the term aesthetic was defined as “the science of how things are known via the senses,” but the word itself wasn’t used until the 19th Century.

An aesthetic judgement was once considered dedicated to fine wines, art collections, and architecture. With the selfie becoming a form of aesthetic preference, should it still be considered art? In the Frontiers of Psychology article Self in Art/Self As Art: Museum Selfies As Identity Work, writers Robert Kozinets, Ulrike Gretzel, and Anja Dinholp “explore theory salient to our topic of selfie taking, finding selfies to be an important way to construct ongoing series of narratives about the self.”

“Selfies are public reflections of the way we view and present ourselves, an intriguing combination of inward and outward looking. Their pervasiveness has been facilitated not only by networked technology and devices such as front facing cameras and selfie sticks, but also by the internalized social conventions that make the capture and sharing of self images desirable and acceptable,” Kozinets, Gretzel and Dinholp write.

While we can consider the aesthetic of the selfie an art form, can this trend have a bad effect on high schoolers? With “#aesthetic” plastered all over social media sites, the power of selfie aesthetics has blazed a trail leading to plastic surgery. According to the American Association of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the impact of selfies and social media has caused their business to grow 13% from 2016 to 2017.

Lainie Scott

This is my senior year at Gull Lake High school, and my second year apart of The Reflection staff.  This year I am the feature/entertainment editor, and I am looking forward to see where my writing can take me.


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