Can you guys help me pick a filter?

Once upon an adolescence, I was hired by a modeling agency so they could systematically take my money while telling me I was beautiful. I’ve become less photogenic with age, and although there are times I believe I photograph well, that’s never the case with selfies.

I guess the whole point of selfies is that you can keep retaking them until you take a good one. Share that one, and no one ever sees the not so hot ones. People seem to actually have time for such shenanigans, as social networks have become a well-organized mausoleum of self-snapped snapshots.

That is so tacky. Unless you’re my boyfriend, I’m simply uninterested in seeing you shirtless in the mirror, lying in bed, taking a bubble bath, or pursing your lips. I feel like I’m going to throw up. 

Oh, wait. Never mind. I’m fine.

The longest selfie in history was reportedly taken after a young Athenian man by the name of Ameinias committed suicide. He was in love with another man — a beautiful man named Narcissus — who just didn’t love him back. 

After Narcissus’ heavenly eyes watched Ameinias slay himself with a sword, he wandered to a nearby stream, and for the first time, saw his own reflection. It was love at first sight.

He didn’t know the gods were behind it all. All he knew was he never wanted to stop looking. So he gazed at his own image, unendingly; slowly pining away, alone in the world — until eventually, he died. 

Wait, pause. Not all selfies are deadly. 

I, for one, am a big fan of group selfies. With everyone contorting to make sure the whole group fits in the frame, no one actually expects you to look that good.

Instead, they’re evaluating the group as a whole. Who’s in the picture? Who’s not in the picture? That person’s in the picture — seriously? Do you see her? And, the classic: photobomb! 

One can read all kinds of things into a groupsie because of the one thing that makes a groupsie infinitely better than a selfie: the unexpected.

Ask 19 local LGBTs to do a little self-reflection on their place within their own culture, and the results are just that — a bit surprising. Not everyone thinks we take a good selfie. Some applaud the community’s movement toward the mainstream. For others: that’s so ratchet.

It’s refreshing that narcissism isn’t quite as at play as you’d expect. No one’s staring at themselves or the local LGBT community completely love stricken, pining away at how good things look under the chosen filter.

Luckily, once you create an image of yourself or an image of your community, you can look at it a couple times, hold on to it for a while, show it to other people — but you’re not stuck with it forever. You can always create another.

So, what do you think? Do you think LGBT Buffalo looks pretty? How did the community even get to this point? No one’s paying you to tell us we’re beautiful, so I want you to be clever.

During Buffalo Pride Week, our community will put on display its biggest and best attempt of the year at solidarity. The Pride flag will go up, the parade will pass by, and the festivals will rile up the masses.

After that, we can all go back home, either contented or disappointed in how we all look in the bigger picture of community. But, first? 

Let’s take a selfie. 

Michael Rizzo is the executive editor.

 

 

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