So a friend and I recently agreed that one way to differentiate gay men from straight men is by the number of selfies gay men take, she has a point! She stated that it's been her experience that "if he take more selfies than me, I automatically assume that he is gay". Now, I haven't done some huge research project to determine if this is true, but one fact is that gay men tend to take more selfies of themselves, and are not shy about showing everything.
This conversation got me to start thinking. I know that her statement is based on a general stereotype that doesn't necessarily apply to every gay man out there. But I have agree as a gay man that gay men tend to take a lot of selfies than their straight counterparts. I mean, everyone, and I do mean everyone with a cell phone has taken selfies at one point or another. In fact, selfies have become so prevalent in our modern culture that someone actually made a hit song about it.
Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with taking selfies, the question is why do gay men seem to take so many? And no, it's not because our gay genes make us naturally more narcissistic than straight men, nor is it because we all suffer from low self-esteem.
The main reason for me to think that we take so many is because we are judged heavily by our online personas!
At one point in order to meet other gay men you had to get dressed and go out to the local bar/club. However, since the discovery of social media app's like: grindr, growlr, adam4adam, scruff, etc...We can just browse men like we're at a meat market. This means that online profiles (pictures) matter a lot more to a gay man than they would to a straight guy. First impressions count a lot and for gay men, the first impression that other gay men form of us is usually highly dependent on our online personas. I mean if you don't have a hot profile picture of ourselves no one is going to want to talk to us. Therefore in an effort to improve our online profiles, we perfect the art of taking selfies and spam our masterpieces on our social media platforms.
“If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask... with nothing beneath it?” Jodi Picoult
This just causes a culture of selfie taking. For most gay men their social circles tend to comprise primarily of only gay men. So, when the majority of their friends flood their social media feeds with countless selfies, this become the social norm for the gay community. This leads straight people too deem as to many selfies, however, this is pretty normal to gay men.
Someone once told me that for straight men the only people in their social circle taking selfies are girls and so, taking to many selfies can be perceived as being a feminine thing. Now, this doesn't mean that there are straight men out there taking plenty of selfies, there are plenty. The point being that straight men are very protective of their masculinity, and most just don't take large numbers of selfies.
Well there you have it, my opinion on why gay men take too many selfies, and my thoughts on our social environment, which encourages us to do so!
So now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go practice my selfies taking skills, and step up my selfie game.
Images: istockphoto.com. Purchased for commercial use.