New Column! Lainey, For Real: Our Selfies, Ourselves?

In her debut column, Lainey Gossip’s Elaine Lui puts herself under the lens

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People keep asking me why I don’t have an Instagram account. It’s because I often don’t remember to take pictures. And I rarely take selfies. To me, it’s kind of embarrassing. People look like assholes when they’re out in public taking selfies. Especially when they’re using selfie sticks. Also really vain. But it’s becoming more and more socially acceptable. Nobody cares when they see someone pull out their phone, angle their chin down, slant their eyes up and expertly manoeuvre their thumb onto the dot, only to repeat the whole process when they look at the screen and decide the picture wasn’t flattering.

That’s the advantage of living the selfie life: you can reset and redo (and edit and filter) until you’re satisfied. You only preserve and present the version of yourself that you’ve manipulated into what you’ve decided is the best. Some call it “branding”—social media has allowed all of us to create and market the ideal iteration of who we are. But I’m not sure if that means we’ve fully accepted Who We Are. If anything, I wonder if selfies are creating a bigger gap between Who We Are and Who We Want Others to Think We Are. What would we see in ourselves if selfies were truly one take, no take-backsies? Could we still stand to look? Do we even know what we really look like anymore?

I decided to find out, challenging myself to take one selfie a day for a month. With conditions: the first take is the only one, no exceptions, no messing with it—and it has to be published without retouching in a national magazine, to kick off my new monthly column.

Hello, FLARE. This is me.

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Elaine Lui is the founder of Lainey Gossip and the author of Listen to the Squawking Chicken.

Related:
Lainey, For Real: Notes on a Diet
Lainey, For Real: Foot in Mouth
Lainey talks to Canadian Business about turning her passion into a career

 

16 comments on “New Column! Lainey, For Real: Our Selfies, Ourselves?

  1. It’s refreshing to see someone actually being real on social media! Great first column.

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  2. I think you look just stunning on Day 12! I totally agree about selfies. It’s one thing if you’re 16 like my”Selfie taking” daughter but and another for adults. The occasional fine, but everyday-really why? I also love your believe “Less is more” attitude about make up. I think women wear far too much and will never understand why women are so afraid just to be! Thank you for being different! Two thumbs up today for you on 2 different topics. You are awesome!

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    • Sorry a few typos there. I was really excited about the great things you had to say today on The Social and in this article.

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  3. Nice photos, but why wear fur? In this day and age there are many more fashionable and cruelty-free choices.

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    • Even if this one is fake, judging by Lainey’s diet and the amount of leather stuff she promotes in the lifestyle section of her website, she doesn’t care much about animals.

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      • I think she cares about her dogs. But her scope of animals is more geared towards pets.

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        • Yeah, you’re not much of an animal lover if you love 2 of them while not batting an eyelid at killing all the rest for your convenience.

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  4. Love, love love Lainey!! So glad she has a new column so that she can continue to keep the rest of us as real as she is. Not different……reeaal !! The only thing fake is the fur! I can’t wait for more ! Good Luck Lainey !

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  5. Love, love, love you Lainey – so happy you have joined Flare! :)

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    • I just read two of your columns (I am new to Flare), and I am so glad I did! Love your columns! Keep them coming…and please ignore the ignorant people who can’t think of anything to say other than to criticize your choice of outdoor clothing in CANADA!!

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  6. I love Lainey and this is a great first column. I’m both guilty of selfies and completely embarrassed by them. Can’t wait to read more. :)

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  7. Can we talk about Day 6? Love your pup. Go Canucks Go!

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  8. What a great idea and a great column! My teenage daughter takes countless selfies, all carefully selected to put her in the best light possible. She obviously has an idea what society finds attractive and tries to fit herself into that mold. The person I see on her Instagram account and the person I see in my home are two similar, but different, people. I’m going to see if she’ll do your challenge, if only for a week, so she can recognize her true beauty.

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  9. I would hate to see what she says about other women’s bodies if that’s what she considers a muffin top (and implying that showing your muffin top means you’ve given up… I thought you were a feminist, Lainey)

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  10. I know you always talk shit about yourself on LaineyGossip but Lainey, you are one beautiful woman. I do hope you feel that sometimes! We all have shitty days, I’m on a streak of a shitty 3 weeks, yes! Anyhow, love this idea. To just be real and not like Kanye West’s Wife. Ugh.

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  11. I don’t like selfies because I look like a Picasso painting in them – one eye is big, other is small, my upper lip goes one way, the lower lip the other way, I’m just a mess. It’s depressing. I’m not bad looking but apparently my face is unsymmetrical and selfies emphasize that. You have to have really nice features to look really good so close to a round lens like that. I’m a pro photographer, so I’m used to things looking better in a picture than in reality, not the other way around! Lainey, by the way, looks so young and beautiful without make up when she’s smiling. Like a kid.

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