Emma Gannon | Social Media Editor | Monday, 16 February 2015

Karen Danczuk Reminds Us That Selfies Can Be Great, Especially If They Make Us Feel Better About Ourselves

The Debrief: Labour MP's selfie queen wife Karen Danczuk shows us why we shouldn't always attack the selfie

Today Karen Danczuk, Labour councillor and wife of Labour MP Simon Danczuk, bravely revealed she had been sexually abused by a family friend when she was a child. She told The Sun that posting selfies was one of the things that helped her regain her confidence: ‘I can have fun without being ashamed of myself. And that is why I take pictures and put them on Twitter – because I can. I’m now free to do whatever I want.’

This opened up a selfie discussion in the office this morning. Why are people so judgmental about people who take selfies? After all, lots of people enjoy posting them, you only need to search #selfie in Instagram to find 233 million pictures staring back at you. 

Of course, we have no real understanding of what Karen has been going through since her awful ordeal as a child. But on a much more shallow level, we too have either come under fire for posting too many selfies, or judged others who do it too often. Either people waggle a judgmental finger at you for being too vain, or they think your mean complaining about a newsfeed full of people's faces. 

Personally I am a fan of selfies. I think posting a selfie on a #goodhairday is just making the most out of a good day. My boyfriend on the other hand would never post one in a million years and thinks 'couples selfies' are social suicide.

Every time you post a selfie you are pushing your chosen identity out there into the world, saying 'hi, this is me!' which is to be encouraged rather than being too scared because of what people might think of you. If we only concentrated on what people might think, the chances are we wouldn't get out of bed as easily in the morning. 

So why do people still hate them so much? Too vain? Too pretty? Too narcisstic? Too try-hard? Or maybe it's just another way to share how you're feeling that day. Whether you're on holiday, bored at home, in front of the Eiffel Tower, I think selfies are a more personal way of sharing what you're upto. After all, 52% of all women and 50% of all men online have posted one selfie. People between 18-24 admit to taking selfies at least once a week. Selfies are 38% more likely to to be liked and 32% more likely to attract comments. 

I only follow people on Instagram who's lives I enjoying peeking into and therefore I enjoy seeing those friend's faces. I enjoy seeing my favourite celebrities being themselves without punching a paparazzi camera out of the way (like Alexa Chung back stage, or Lena Dunham smooching her dog). I like that social media gives you the freedom to share whatever the hell you like. I like the 'support' that people show you when you post a selfie, it shows celebration and friendship. 

Karen also revealed she spent 20 years on anti-depressants for two decades, self-harming and attempting suicide in 2007. So in my eyes, if selfies make Karen feel even slightly better, then good for her. We should stop attacking her posting 'revealing' selfies and let her post as many as she likes. And hit 'like' on all of them. 

Follow Emma on Twitter @girllostincity

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Tags: Politics Meets Pop Culture, Selfies