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 the visual art critic/arts reporter at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. Her cultural criticism and reporting are published in the Guardian, GLAMOUR, New York Magazine, CNN, LA Weekly, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, New Inquiry, Hyperallergic, Aperture, MAXIM, Art21 Magazine, and Artforum. Her work is quoted in New York Times, New Yorker, The Atlantic, Le Monde, Perez Hilton, BuzzFeed and Gawker (RIP). Eler is cited as a selfie expert in the Washington Post and New York Magazine. She grew up in Skokie, Illinois, and received a BA in Art History from Oberlin College.