adiaforon

Not essential to the faith

Girls (and everyone else in their lives) on film

This is a quickish post before I head out to hike on this gorgeous and sunny day . . .

Attention-whoring among modern-day girls and women is very well-known in the ‘sphere. We see it all the time on Facebook and its spinoffs, like Pinterest. There isn’t a day goes by when some of my Facebook female friends are posting some new pic, usually of themselves.

Philosopher that I am, I’ve often wondered about the female fascination with photos and taking photos of themselves, friends, and family. It might seem obvious, but as I’ve not really concentrated on this subject, it’s hard for me to come up with a cogent argument for or against.

Then, I found something from Sue Hindmarsh, and Australian philosopher. It hits the nail on the head beautifully.

Women love to keep mementos and souvenirs from past relationships, or events. Many of them place framed photos of their loved ones on every available surface, or hang them on their walls, or they’ve kept every doll they were ever given as a child, or they collect knick-knacks and fill cupboards and side-tables with them, or, like Elizabeth, they like to keep gifts from ex-boyfriends. All this ‘stuff’ surrounding them is a constant reminder of how special and wonderful their life really is. It also makes the transference from one object of desire to another object so much easier. She can still hang on to something before crossing over to the next.

It’s like they’re rock climbers, they never let go of one hand-hold before getting a grip on the next, otherwise they might fall; or in the case of women — disappear.

Reminders of how special they are. Bingo! I think she’s on to something here, by Jove!

My attitude towards and relationship to photos is more ambiguous. Sure, I’ve taken many photos in the past, especially when I was traveling, because I wanted a memento of what I had seen. It was more important in the days before digital cameras, when you had to buy film and then pay to get it developed. You were more concerned with getting that “perfect” shot so as to not waste film. Not anymore.

With that in mind, I wonder if it wasn’t Facebook but digital cameras that brought out the latent attention-whoring in women. Might be a good topic for a blog post another day.

Anyway, as I said, I think that Hindmarsh is definitely onto something here. You can read more of what she has to say here.

Now, off to hit the rocks.

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5 responses to “Girls (and everyone else in their lives) on film

  1. Tia April 22, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    ” Women love to keep mementos and souvenirs from past relationships, or events. Many of them place framed photos of their loved ones on every available surface, or hang them on their walls, or they’ve kept every doll they were ever given as a child, or they collect knick-knacks and fill cupboards and side-tables with them, or, like Elizabeth, they like to keep gifts from ex-boyfriends. All this ‘stuff’ surrounding them is a constant reminder of how special and wonderful their life really is. It also makes the transference from one object of desire to another object so much easier. She can still hang on to something before crossing over to the next.

    It’s like they’re rock climbers, they never let go of one hand-hold before getting a grip on the next, otherwise they might fall; or in the case of women — disappear.”

    This is culture dependent. I’ve noticed Americans of a certain type do this, as well as probably Canadians and I wouldn’t doubt Brits and Aussies. See the connection?

    Otherwise its not really that common in the rest of the world.

    I kept a few photographs of just one of my past boyfriends for a few years – the hottest looking one. And the photos were from his first and last modeling photo shoot. I love basking in the beauty of this tall, dark and handsome from a far away exotic land.

    I also enjoyed showing his photo to some of my latter friends and boyfriends, when we were discussing the variances of human beauty around the world.

    All agreed he was celestial looking.

    Then it came time for me to back up my bags and head off into the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on my back (literally) once again – and I threw his photos into the creek in the back of the cabin I was renting for my summer writing retreat.

    • adiaforon April 24, 2013 at 8:06 am

      You’re right about the cultural connection. I’d say it’s because of the cult of celebrity in the Anglosphere. But, I’d bet dollars to donuts that it’s also a growing phenomenon over in South Korea, which is the most wired and technologically abundance place on the planet now.

  2. Tia April 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    And note: his photos weren’t taken by me, but were given to me by him, as reminders of his first and last modeling photo shoot. I travel for my work all around the world and not once have I carried a camera. People always ask to see photos of where I’ve been and I have to tell them just to google some photos from the internet because “I don’t do photos”.

    I find taking pictures to be burdensome and also takes away from “being here now”.

  3. jose April 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    AHHH i see! I think it was the invention of the digital camera and camera phone that has made it easier for them o take more pictures at a faster rate. Heck my oldest daughter is constantly shooting photos of herself from her phone. She does it no-stop. Hell recently she found out that the boyfriend took back an item that was given to her by him and she had a melt down!

    Thanks to this article now i understand! Great Post!

    • adiaforon April 24, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Yep. The fact that you can take hundreds of photos within a very short space means that you, the chick, can feed your vanity that much more and than much quicker. Having so many pics also means that you cheapen the interaction.

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