Rhiannon Harries: 'Nothing says 'Cheese!' louder than those online self-portraits'

Share
Related Topics

You can spot them a mile off: the odd camera angle, a glimpse of awkwardly positioned arm. Mainly, it's the exaggerated tilt of the chin and the massive pout. No doubt the amateur photographic self-portrait pre-dates the social-networking revolution, but in the era of Facebook, MySpace, dating websites and Twitter, these über-posed images are everywhere.

In last week's furore around her alleged liaisons with footballer Wayne Rooney, reporters dug out some classic examples from Jennifer Thompson's Facebook albums. Since other pictures reveal Thompson to be the kind of gal who considers bra and knickers formal evening wear, you can hardly be surprised that at no point when creating such pictures did she stop to think, "Hmm, maybe this actually makes me look bit of a knob."

The try-hard self-portrait is not limited to wannabe Playboy bunnies, though. I've been taken aback several times by female acquaintances I'd thought were, you know, cool, popping up on screen apparently channelling Kate Moss. Ditto the odd male friend doing Ben Stiller in Zoolander. It seems perverse – if you are posing so outrageously that it's too shameful to ask another person to take the picture, why then share it with the world?

Of course, choosing a representative picture is tricky. It doesn't take an unhealthy level of vanity to prefer not to look an utter dog, so it is tempting to go for a flukey, ultra-flattering snap. But it opens up the possibility that people will a) not recognise you, creating an embarrassing "god is that you?" moment, and/or b) interpret your careful selection as a sign of pathetic vanity. Better to look like a dog, no?

I will admit that I have a default photo face (no-teeth smile, bite cheeks in a bit, try not to be caught shovelling food into gob). I plead that it's an attempt to look respectably average, not pro-model-pretty, and it doesn't always work.

For some, though, perhaps it is indeed a question of wanting to stack up to the beautiful people. So why, if the red-carpet pics in the glossies are anything to go by, do so many high-cheekboned, full-lipped celebs feel the need to pull the same moves?

Among the worst offenders are Liz Hurley, Sophie Dahl and Thandie Newton, none of whom need the help. Demi Moore's recent self-taken Twitter snaps of herself in a bikini (inset) were cringily unnecessary – she is known for little else than looking unfeasibly good these days; no need to overdo it. Still, I should be grateful – seeing a picture of Moore poncing it up probably does more for my self-esteem than one of Helena Christensen make-up free, mid-forkful and looking sublime.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The traditional Boxing Day hunt in Lacock  

For foxes' sake: Don't let the bloody tradition of the Boxing Day hunt return

Mimi Bekhechi
 

Letter from the Deputy Editor: i’s Review of the Year

Andrew Webster
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all