Gray’s Anatomy – Are you self-obsessed? – By Richard Gray

Yes, it’s Friday again and that means one thing around here and one thing only, Richard Gray’s, Gray’s Anatomy column article. This week Richard discusses the psychology of ‘selfies’. Seriously, don’t miss this, over to you Richard. (Foreword by Joanne Carter).



Are you a bit self-obsessed? Well, like my Mum always used to say if I said “very unique”, I’m not sure you can be “a bit” self-obsessed. But let’s go with it. And do you take photos? If your answers are yes and yes, you’ve probably taken a “selfie”. Or in highfalutin parlance, a self-portrait. Or in simple terms, a picture of yourself. With most smart phones, just flip the lens and you can line yourself up and do a really sexy pout.

An article in The Guardian this week highlighted the popularity of the selfie. In it, Bim Adewunmi says selfies are so popular, especially with celebs, because they are easy and you are in control of the photo. “I love selfies. And I am not alone.” she says. Well, I’m not that keen on doing selfies myself actually. Thinking about it, though, it would make a difference if I was a lot better looking and younger. If you’ve got a nice face, then just like any other nice-looking thing, you probably want to take a photo of it. If not, then not. Another reason I’m probably not that bothered is that I’m married. Especially if you’re good looking, free and single, a selfie is a great way of putting yourself in the match-making shop window. Surely it’s no coincidence that selfies are most popular amongst pubescent teens?

But perhaps a more profound theory for the popularity of the selfie (and here my degree in philosophy is finally coming in handy) has something in common with the popularity of the food image. I previously speculated (move over Alain de Botton!) that people like taking pictures of their food because they want to reassure themselves, in some primeval way, of their continued survival. In the same way, don’t people take pictures of themselves just to tell themselves that they exist? This is me. I am alive. I pout therefore I am.



A rare rugfoot selfie’ – ©Richard Gray


Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]

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