On #NationalSelfieDay, what even is a selfie?

graduation selfie

Photo via Paul Bradbury/Getty Images (Licensed)

Words have meanings, dammit.

We’re not here to argue about selfies. Some people love them, some think they’re single-handedly ruining our society, and most of us can agree that #NationalSelfieDay is pretty silly on an internet where people are posting selfies all the damn time. 

Whatever. There are bigger things to worry about, like whether people even know what a selfie is. Because it appears there’s a lot of confusion.

The word doing the heavy lifting in “selfie” is self, because a selfie is a photo that you take of yourself. Not just any photo of yourself, and not even a photo that you take after setting up the timer on your laptop. A selfie is a photo in which you’re simultaneously posing for a photo and holding the device which is taking said photo.

So, not these.

A picture you take of your pet is not a selfie. A picture you take of someone else is not a selfie. An illustration of some random dude is not a selfie!!!!
It’s like words don’t even have meaning anymore. 

We can see where people would get confused. A selfie being just any photo of yourself sounds intuitive, but that is called a portrait. It also seems a bit arbitrary as to why a photo taken with the use of a selfie stick would count, and one taken with a timer on a laptop or camera wouldn't. 

But look, I don't make the rules. A selfie is what a selfie is, and these are not selfies. If you've got a problem with that, take it up with Merriam-Webster.

We tested out some butt selfie tips
What is the point of getting new leggings if you can’t take great butt selfies? The workout clothing company Celestial Bodiez understands the importance of a great butt selfie, which is why they include instructions for taking one in their pants. Imgur user mchammercurls uploaded the tutorial images to the photo-sharing platform, where people had a lot of punny opinions about the matter, like "Butt why?"
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