This week’s work on self portraits was interesting to say the least. I am not a selfie person. I don’t generally take them, I don’t generally post them. Aside from taking a picture to use on a profile, my experience in photographing myself is limited. That being said I was rather apprehensive about this whole thing.
I posted, first a selfie I had taken last summer. The picture is of me and a goat named Oreo. The picture was originally taken, not to show me, but to show the goat. (She is the cute one after all) I took this picture to send to Oreo’s owners, as they were away on vacation, and I wanted them to know that their animals were being taken care of. The owners of the goat are also two little girls, both in elementary school, so it seemed like an appropriate way to set their minds at ease at the time. I chose this picture as my first self portrait because I thought it was a funny/ cute picture and because I LOVE goats. It represented me in more than one way.
I then set to work on the readings for the week. The first thing that really struck me as I read was the topic of Pseudonyms in Why Social Media is Leading to a New Era of Identity. The name at the top of my blog is a pseudonym in a way. Yes, that is what people call me, but it is not my real name. My name is Brianna, but people call me Bri, I identify with that name and it is what I use to represent myself.
In Rettberg’s article Representation or Presentation I also made a wild connection. Reading the article, Rettberg refers to the picture Kendall Jenner posted (the one with the heart hair and the white dress) and compares it to a bunch of different things trying to determine if the picture is representation or presentation. In doing this analysis, Rettberg makes a connection between the picture of Jenner and of the character Ophelia, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a connection that I, too, made upon the photo’s posting. When I read that Rettberg had come to a similar conclusion to my own, I was thrilled. Maybe, just maybe, I understood the assignment better than I had thought.
Finally, I was ready to post my last self portrait. I chose to keep it a photo, I am not good with poetry or anything else that might be a good representation of me. The scenario of the self portrait went like this…
I was sitting on my couch Sunday morning, drinking coffee and doing homework with my roommates. They were a wreck from the night before, as was I and I realized how authentic the moment felt to my life. This was a situation that had played out countless times before and would play out countless times after. I was in my natural habitat so to speak. As I sat on the couch, wishing that my coffee would refill its self, I realized that this is what I really look like. I sit in the same spot every day, I drink the same coffee, I do the homework for the same classes. Nothing could have been more authentic to me in that moment. So, I took a picture. Or rather, I set a camera up on a chair and after great difficulty and many failed attempts at using the timer on my phone, took a picture.
This week, I spent more time thinking about myself than I normally do, which was both uncomfortable and refreshing. It was enlightening to sit down and honestly think about what is a good representation of me as a person. Difficult and uncomfortable, but enlightening.