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Speaking Through SelfiesClodagh Glaisyer, Ray Husain, Theodora Sutton, and Isabella Smith // 2 April 2014

Clodagh Glaisyer, Good cause this no make up selfie thing - but I didn't wear make up for the first 40 yrs of my life - and now can rarely be arsed - shame that women feel such pressure to continually disguise and primp and preen - make the best of what you have but don't be a slave to peer pressure #justsaying (2014).

 

I have an eleven-year-old daughter whose interest and knowledge of make-up completely surpasses my lukewarm appreciation of it. I only attempted to wear make-up in my early forties, hoping to give my pale increasingly fading features some clarity. On average I now wear make-up about once a fortnight and my friends and family often tell me not to bother. I find it hard not to tease my daughter and her friends with their pouting selfies and layers of cosmetics. I worry about a society that brain washes its young girls to believe they are only good enough when they pout vacuously, redden their lips, darken their lashes and dampen their natural skin-tones with a monotone veil of foundation – and this is all from the age of ten years old! Is it still that age-old burden of women only being as good as they look? Don't be a slave to peer pressure, don't feel you have to catalogue every life experience, and please stop pulling that inane selfie smile pout! A face without make-up is honest. Clodagh Glaisyer

 

Ray Husain, BDAY SELFIE (2013, left) and www. I am no longer ashamed of jacking all of my mums clothes and jewellery and I am close to being comfortable in my own skin however I'm still not fully there .co.uk (2013, right).

 

My first image (left) is my ever necessary birthday selfie, the only way I actually remember what I have done on previous birthdays: what I wore and how amazing a night it was. My memories are attached to and maybe based on these pictures. I rely on them to remind me of special moments and good feelings. I feel like everyone wishes you a happy birthday, and then if you put up a nice selfie it's like 'thanks guys, this is me being happy because of all you and your positivity, and also this is what I look like right now'. My second image (right) is a picture I took when I was just trying on some of my mum’s jewellery for a night out. I took the picture completely for myself. It was at point where I started being more experimental with clothing and jewellery and my image and capturing this moment was a way of telling myself that I am not ashamed of what I am doing. I look at this selfie and I love the person who is in it and for me it's art. Ray Husain

 

Theodora Sutton, Lenin and I would like to wish everyone a very happy christmas! — at Museum of Communism (2013).

 

I took this selfie with Lenin at the museum of communism on Christmas Day. My parents and I had travelled to Prague for the holidays in an effort to escape some of the madness that takes hold of Britain over the entire month of December. With no festive plans other than a Christmas dinner booked, we decided to completely ignore the festive spirit and visit the museum of communism. The museum was very quiet and a bit dusty. Everywhere statues of Marx and Lenin glared at us. The displays were old and the few people who were wandering around were quite eccentric, so I didn't feel too self-conscious striding up to the statue and snapping a selfie. Straight afterwards my mum asked me whether I could do anything without it being ironic these days. I said no. Theodora Sutton

 

Isabella Smith, I dun my very first selfie! so on trend rite now👌 (2013).

 

I took this photo of myself reflected in an artwork. I liked the way the object refracted my reflection. I like this obscuring of the self thanks to how embarrassing I find the idea of taking a selfie to be, as also evidenced by my inability to title the photo seriously. Fragmenting my reflection allows me to have my cake and eat it – to be visible and yet invisible, and to join the online play of images without commitment. Likewise, my Tindr profile photo – necessary to open an account – is of a Renaissance painting of a young woman. Isabella Smith

 

These images are from the International New Media Gallery's current Collective Curating exhibition, Between Self and Selfie (2013-14). Clodagh Glaisyer is a primary school teacher at Lewisham Council, Ray Husain is an MA student at Durham reading Translation, Theodora Sutton is an MSc student at UCL reading Digital Anthropology, and Isabella Smith is Head of Programmes at the International New Media Gallery.

 

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