Of Duck Faces and Cat Beards: Why Do Selfies Need Genres?

  • Bernd Leiendecker
Chapter

Abstract

From duck face or mirror selfies to “belfies” or cat beard selfies—many selfies fall into categories that can be considered to function like genres. Bernd Leiendecker borrows this established term and concept, used in the analysis of film, television, and other media, to reflect on the construction, usefulness, and specifics of selfie genres. While film and television theory mostly postulate that genrefication is important for production, marketing, and reception purposes, most selfies are not made for financial profit and their production and reception typically is free. Thus, many of the usual reasons for genrefication do not seem to apply. Nevertheless, a process of genrefication does seem to be at work: Many websites collect selfies from one genre only, and users knowingly emulate other selfies and place their own selfies in certain categories via hashtags. By applying genre theory to selfies, one is therefore faced with challenges that may lead to a better understanding of what selfies are and why they are categorized at all. Although the problems of genre definition have already been exemplified by the selfie as a genre of photography, Leiendecker shifts the focus to the different genres that emerge as subcategories of the selfie and to their own logics of production, distribution, and reception.

Bibliography

  1. Albury, Kath. 2015. Selfies, Sexts, and Sneaky Hats: Young People’s Understandings of Gendered Practices of Self-Representation. International Journal of Communication 9: 1734–1745. http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/3132/1396.Google Scholar
  2. Altman, Rick. 1999. Film/Genre. London: British Film Institute.Google Scholar
  3. Bellinger, Matthew. 2015. Bae Caught Me Tweetin’: On the Representational Stance of the Selfie. International Journal of Communication 9: 1806–1817. http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/3135/1401.Google Scholar
  4. Deller, Ruth, and Shane Tilton. 2015. Selfies as Charitable Meme. Charity and National Identity in the #nomakeupselfie and #thumbsupforstephen Campaigns. International Journal of Communication 9: 1788–1805. http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/3143/1400.Google Scholar
  5. Eagar, Toni, and Stephen Dann. 2016. Classifying the Narrated #Selfie: Genre Typing Human-Branding Activity. European Journal of Marketing 50 (9–10): 1835–1857.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fausing, Bent. 2014a. Selfies Shape the World. Selfies, Healthies, Usies, Felfies… Accessed January 19, 2016. https://www.academia.edu/6488189/Selfies_Shape_the_World._Selfies_Healthies_Usies_Felfies
  7. ———. 2014b. SELF-MEDIA. The Self, the Face, the Media and the Selfies (Script of a keynote lecture given at the International Conference on Sensoric Image Science, Sassari July 24, 2014). Accessed January 19, 2016. https://www.academia.edu/7988938/SELF-MEDIA._The_Self_the_Face_the_Media_and_the_Selfies
  8. Hampton, Claire. 2015. #nomakeupselfies. The Face of Hashtag Slacktivism. Networking Knowledge 8 (6): 1–14.Google Scholar
  9. Instagram.com (angusjesuslysander). 2015. #gntmfinale #gntmselfie. May 14. Accessed December 25, 2017. https://www.instagram.com/p/2rOHQUOAv4/
  10. Instagram.com (eplingfarm). 2015. Hey! Look at My Big Purple Carrot! #Carrot #Harvest #Felfie. September 24. Accessed January 19, 2016. https://instagram.com/p/7-9s0jilHd
  11. Instagram.com (iamkb). 2014. Mind the Gap #Belfie. April 21. Accessed January 19, 2016. https://instagram.com/p/nEFkBZKZvL
  12. Instagram.com (nisi_farbklecks). 2015. #gntmselfie #selfmade #muffins #gntmfinale #mädelsabend #unsegalwergewinnt #yummi #youcaneat #heidiklum Mega geile Topmodelmuffins von Steffen! Nom nom. May 14. Accessed December 25, 2017. https://www.instagram.com/p/2rFYy2FNmU/
  13. Klein, Uschi. 2016. Sharing Selfies. In Popular Culture as Everyday Life, ed. Dennis Waskul and Phillip Vannini, 85–94. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Knox, David. 2014. Second Chance for Australia’s Next Top Model Wanna-Bes. TVtonight.com.au, August 25. Accessed January 19, 2016. http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2014/08/second-chance-for-australias-next-top-model-wanna-bes
  15. Lüders, Marika, et al. 2010. Emerging Personal Media Genres. New Media & Society 12 (6): 947–963.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Marek, Roman. 2013. Understanding YouTube: Über die Faszination eines Mediums. Bielefeld: Transcript.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McWhertor, Michael. 2015. World of Warcraft Gets a Selfie Camera, Instagram-Style Filters. Polygon.com, January 26. Accessed January 19, 2016. http://www.polygon.com/2015/1/26/7919187/world-of-warcraft-selfie-camera-instagram-twitter
  18. Mittell, Jason. 2004. Genre and Television: From Cop Shows to Cartoons in American Culture. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. 2017. Selfie. Accessed December 25, 2017. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/selfie
  20. Rösch, Elke, and Daniel Seitz. 2013. YouTube als Teil der Jugendkultur—eine kleine Genrekunde. In Einfach fernsehen? Zur Zukunft des Bewegtbildes, ed. Lars Gräßer and Aycha Riffi, 45–51. München: kopaed.Google Scholar
  21. Rubinstein, Daniel. 2010. Tag, Tagging. Philosophy of Photography 2: 197–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Savage, Phil. 2015. Your Best World of Warcraft Selfies. PCgamer.com, March 5. Accessed January 19, 2016. http://www.pcgamer.com/your-best-world-of-warcraft-selfies
  23. Shah, Nishant. 2015. The Selfie and the Slut: Bodies, Technology, and Public Shame. The Economic Political Weekly 17: 86–93.Google Scholar
  24. Shifman, Limor. 2014. Memes in Digital Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  25. Tembeck, Tamar. 2017. Autopathographies in New Media Environments at the Turn of the 21st Century. In Emerging Genres in New Media Environments, ed. Carolyn R. Miller and Ashley R. Kelly, 207–224. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tifentale, Alise. 2015. Making Sense of the Selfie: Digital Image-Making and Image-Sharing in Social Media. Scriptus Manet 1: 47–59.Google Scholar
  27. Twitter.com (@_Plushtoy_). 2016. Back to Raiding on My Main after the Holidays!! I’m So Happy!!! Straight to Mythic Archi! #Warcraft #Selfie #Belfie. January 8. Accessed January 19, 2016. https://twitter.com/_Plushtoy_/status/685379936740184064
  28. Twitter.com (@oliviadgrace). 2015. Blood Elf New Model S.E.L.F.I.E from the PTR. Belfie? Yup. January 5. Accessed January 19, 2016. https://twitter.com/oliviadgrace/status/559372893310971905
  29. Twitter.com (@RegSprecher). 2014. Glückwunsch—perfekter Einstieg ins Turnier. June 16. Accessed January 19, 2016. https://twitter.com/RegSprecher/status/478612717428019201/photo/1
  30. Twitter.com (@Sky_ChrisL). 2014. #Angie on My Mind: Gruppen #Selfie mit der Kanzlerin. Als Maskottchen hat sie wirklich Erfolg! #aneurerseite #WM2014. June 16. Accessed January 19, 2016. https://twitter.com/Sky_ChrisL/status/478638134289108992/photo/1
  31. Twitter.com (@TheEllenShow). 2014. If Only Bradley’s Arm was Longer. Best Photo Ever. #oscars. March 3. Accessed January 19, 2016. https://twitter.com/theellenshow/status/440322224407314432
  32. Wendt, Brooke. 2014. The Allure of the Selfie—Instagram and the New Self-Portrait. (= Network Notebooks #08). Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.Google Scholar
  33. Yang, Lei, et al. 2012. We Know What @You #Tag: Does the Dual Role Affect Hashtag Adoption? WWW ‘12 Proceedings of the 21st international conference on World Wide Web, 261–270. Accessed January 19, 2016. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~qmei/pub/www2012-yang.pdf

Mediography

  1. Australia’s Next Top Model (2005–, Fox8).Google Scholar
  2. Germany’s Next Top Model (2006–, Pro7).Google Scholar
  3. World of Warcraft (2004–, Blizzard Entertainment).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernd Leiendecker
    • 1
  1. 1.BochumGermany

Personalised recommendations