In the social network world of self-adoration, faced with a blizzard of selfies, self-worship and out and out narcissism, there is one phrase you just know isn’t true. “Looking good!” It is not, I admit, something I see attached to the mercifully few photos I post myself, probably because it’s a step too far to say “looking good” when the browser really means looking old.
I have taken a grand total of two selfies in my entire life and it was certainly two too many. I put one on Facebook and within an hour took it down. I didn’t think I was “looking good” but I felt like an egomaniacal twat for even thinking about it.
It’s probably just me. I look in the mirror and I don’t like everything I see. I see that lop-sided face caused by skin tightness after a facial operation some 40-odd years ago, I see the scar itself, I see my wonky bottom teeth, the lines of age and, of course, the pounds I am hoping to lose before the year’s end. Even though I still have a fair bit of brown hair (no, it’s not dyed), I still find little to show off about. That said, I don’t particularly care what I look like, so log as I am clean and relatively tidy.
My thought process when I took a selfie, which was many years ago, was something along the lines of, “I’ll take a picture of myself”. The first time I did it, I thought I’d take the picture I wanted, I’d look something like George Clooney, post it on Facebook and everyone else would be impressed. I lie. I thought no such thing, but I do know I wanted, for a short time, so see an image of me that was better than I know it to be. A glimpse of vanity. “Look how good looking I am.”
No. Selfies are in the compartment of things I don’t understand. Tattoos, the X Factor, Star Wars, people who go to the gym and then listen to music/watch telly because it’s so fucking boring, personalised number plates, Carling lager, Boris Johnson, 80s music, men in lycra – they’re all there, too. But selfies are the worst and usually “looking good” is about as honest an answer as you would get from Donald Trump. No one’s going to say “Looking as rough as a badger’s arse”, are they?