In case you haven’t figured out why all you see on Instagram is girls’ selfies, there is a distinct reason behind what might otherwise resemble a vanity crisis on a grand scale. What is known as the “20 beautiful women challenge” or simply “#20beautifulwomen” is a widespread movement where girls post selfies and tag 20 of their friends, essentially nominating them to post their own picture and tag their own friends.
The admirable purpose of #20beautifulwomen is to inspire self-confidence and self-esteem among women everywhere. When even the shy girls who normally refrain from posting pictures of themselves participate, it can be said that this has succeeded. However, those girls who post seven consecutive selfies from different angles “#SelfieSunday! #MoreSelfies! #EvenMoreSelfies!” and manage to receive varying praises from commenters must be rejoicing at this unique chance. It’s not to say that these selfie fiends should be discouraged from taking part in #20beautifulwomen but rather that they should realize that posting pictures occasionally will do much more for the psyche than constantly and incessantly fishing for compliments and reducing all followers to thinking “oh. She posted…five selfies in a row. Great.” and scrolling through.
Do we really have to specify that there are 20 beautiful women? Tagging 20 people in a single photo is convoluted and eventually results in the popular girls being nominated way too many times by all of their friends and those trying to curry favor with the popular cliques. The inclusiveness is understood, but we don’t have to make every girl currently in existence post a photo. It should be their choice, and not at the discretion of some girl who arbitrarily decides on their 20 most beautiful (or, as is usually the case, closest) friends. This often leads to fierce rivalry among girls who were once friends. Just watching the trailer for the movie “Unfriended”–do not watch that–warns strongly against this.
At the risk of sounding like a “Meninist,” are men not allowed to promote their self-esteem? There have indeed been parody trends for #20beautifulmen or similar tags, but they are not taken particularly seriously. Maybe it’s because guys (well, most guys) are too self-conscious to post selfies, thinking society has dictated that only girls are legally obligated to display themselves. Though #20beautifulwomen is a fantastic trend, what’s wrong with #20beautifulpeople (apart from the wording)?
After all, everyone is beautiful. And we should all be encouraged to accept each other, regardless of the quality of selfies we take. If that’s a criterion for personal quality, it’s time to take a serious look at this overexposed society.