by Christine Urio
“Let me take a selfie” is slowly taking over aspects of daily conversation, as it is frequently being said, tagged, or mocked.
The Chainsmoker’s hit song, “#Selfie” is repeatedly heard on the radios and at the clubs. It’s not its tune, but its lyrics that have caught the attention of many indignant listeners. Like in all forms of media, messages in this song are representative of how our society, culture, and generation are depicted.
#SELFIE (Official Music Video) – The Chainsmokers (Video courtesy of Dim Mak Records)
The song is ultimately a conversation dominated by a girl, assumedly speaking with her friends while they are out. Throughout the night, she proceeds to judge other club-goers, to worry about a reoccurring male named Jason, and to take numerous selfies.
The song not only blatantly addresses vanity, hooking up, and substance abuse in its three-minute-and-three-second entirety, but portrays a specific moment in our current lifetime, creating a not-so-flattering snapshot to look back on in the future of what the teenage generation was like in 2014.
The portrayal of the “typical” teenage female is not one that impressionable preteens should strive to become, as the song alludes to a lifestyle similar to wild celebrities, such as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.
Our self-absorbed speaker is highly concerned about the important issues that continually plague American youth today, such as, “Why is the DJ playing “Summertime Sadness” when it’s not even summer?”
Despite such existential questions, she proceeds to take a sweeping survey of the room and politely observe her fellow club-goers, such as the guy sleeping next to the “fake model.” Her honest critique pursues as she attempts to explain to her cronies how wearing no shoes is apparently considered “ratchet.”
She continues on, insulting her shoddy friend behind her back because doing it to her face would be too noble for someone who goes out on Mondays, and says she “definitely bought all her Instagram followers,” implying that she has no friends. Dissed.
But secretly insulting one person is not enough for our diligent speaker, especially when there’s a short girl wearing a Cheetah dress. Someone needs to inform her that Cheetah is tacky. It’s a miracle she even got in, considering she’s not even pretty.
This is obviously a very flustering and harrowing situation for our speaker, who has now been driven by these circumstances to smoke a cigarette—trust me, she “really needs one.” And what compliments a smoke better than some shots! Except “there’s no vodka at this table.” Oh well, the best way to remedy this disturbing discovery is to take a selfie.
But now comes a life-altering decision: Which filter to choose? When there’s prime choices like XX Pro or Valencia, it apparently needs the assistance and guidance from the beloved and trusted friends that just took her to the bathroom when she felt like she was going to throw up to tell her which one makes her look tanner, because being perceived as tan is really the only thing that matters in life.
The struggle becomes real as she puts her writing skills to the test to come up with a “clever caption.” And nothing is classier than “Livin’ with my bitches, #LIVE.”
Now the panic sets in because it’s been five entire minutes since she put that selfie up, with her well-thought-out caption, before she begins internally debating taking it down since no one has liked it (well, except for Jason… “What a creep.”)
As entertaining as this scenario is, it’s somewhat offensive, for it makes sweeping generalizations—clumping females together under this demeaning title. To an extent, it portrays what it’s like when college kids go out. Although it’s inevitable that selfies will be taken, the song takes it to an unrealistic extreme.
It paints an impractical picture and misrepresents not only them, but the generation as a whole. When this song is featured on “I Love Millennia’s” 20 years down the road, our generation is going to be represented by this song. More importantly, the song exemplifies the values that this generation holds. We have been captured in this state of perpetual partying and will be forever remembered by ceaseless hypocrisy and all things that are frivolous and nominal in nature.
However, the song can also be seen as a celebration of youth and a good way to capture this moment in time, for the song incorporates language and ideas that are associated with 2014.
The most important thing to take away from this one-hit-wonder before it eternally retires to the time capsule, is that the selfie will never die, for it has become an engrained and potent piece of our culture.