Wednesday, January 30, 2013 | Categories: Episodes
Andy Warhol's Self-Portrait, created circa 1963-1964 (Christie's/AP)
Selfies: Narcissistic, Empowering, or Just Fun?
If you've ever tried to take one of those awkward self-photos, turning the camera or smartphone around to photograph yourself, you know the results are rarely flattering. But, Toronto photographer Joanne Alves has mastered the art of the self-portrait. We aired a clip.
So there's a knack to it, but you no longer have to be an artist to create self-portraits. Selfies are simple enough to take and easy to share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the cloud. In the latest issue of Complex magazine, pop superstar Rihanna was photographed photographing herself.
Rihanna then dishes out advice on how to take a good selfie - she would know, she has 4.7 million followers on her Instagram account where she regularly posts her own seductive selfies. She admits "It's narcissistic, but whatever--everyone does it". Then she shares her selfie secrets: "Get a good light. Get a good angle on what's working for you that day. If it's boobs, make sure you hit that. If it's face, make sure it's fierce."
Now before you dismiss the trend as something only stars and "the kids" do - you'll want to see the selfie that Meryl Streep took with her iPhone, together with Hilary Clinton after a State Department dinner last month.
People are divided on selfies. as our intern Patricia Brotzel found out when she canvassed a few people in Toronto.
So what are we to make of the selfie - obsession? We were joined by three guests this morning.
Sarah Nicole Prickett is a Canadian writer based in New York. She was in our New York studio.
And Hal Niedzviecki is the author of The Peep Diaries: How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors and he was in our Toronto studio.
This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar and Patricia Brotzel.
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Last Word - Christopher Hitchens on Cultural Vandalism
Tomorrow on The Current, we'll look at what may be a case of startling cultural vandalism in Mali. Timbuktu has long been the home of thousands of ancient manuscripts -- priceless documents that attest to a culture of learning that thrived when Columbus was just getting his sails wet. Many of those manuscripts are now missing -- and its feared they may have been destroyed by the Islamist rebels just forced out of Timbuktu.
The 21st century has been unkind to humanity's common heritage. The late Christopher Hitchens once made an interesting argument on why the international community should intervene to stop cultural vandalism ... a kind of self preservation. Here he is during a 2004 debate on preventive action.
Christopher Hitchens gets today's Last Word.
Other segments from today's show: