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Sociology The appeal of selfies comes from how easy they are to create and share, and the control they give self-photographers over how they present themselves. Many selfies are intended to present a flattering image of the person, especially to friends whom the photographer expects to be supportive.[13][14] However, a 2013 study of Facebook users found that posting photos of oneself correlates with lower levels of social support from and intimacy with Facebook friends (except for those marked as Close Friends).[28] The lead author of the study suggests that 'those who frequently post photographs on Facebook risk damaging real-life relationships.'[29] The photo messaging application Snapchat is also largely used to send selfies. Some users of Snapchat choose to send intentionally-unattractive selfies to their friends for comedic purposes. Posting intentionally unattractive selfies has also become common in the early 2010s—in part for their humor value, but in some cases also to explore issues of body image or as a reaction against the perceived narcissism or over-sexualization of typical selfies.[30] Gender roles, sexuality, and privacy Selfies are popular among both genders. Sociologist Ben Agger describes the trend of selfies as 'the male gaze gone viral', and sociologist and women's studies professor Gail Dines links it to the rise of 'porn culture' and the idea that sexual attractiveness is the only way in which a woman can make herself visible.[31] Writer Andrew Keen has pointed out that while selfies are often intended to give the photographer control over how their image is presented, posting images publicly or sharing them with others who do so may have the opposite effect—dramatically so in the case of revenge porn, where ex-lovers post sexually explicit photographs or nude selfies to exact revenge or humiliate their former lovers.[31] Nonetheless, some feminists view selfies as a subversive form of self-expression that narrates one's own view of desirability. In this sense, selfies can be empowering and offer a way of actively asserting agency.[32] Copyright law may be effective in forcing the removal of private selfies from public that were forwarded to another person.[33] In 2013 in the blog Jezebel, author Erin Gloria Ryan criticized selfies, stating that the images they often portray, as well as the fact that they are usually posted to social media with the intent of getting positive comments and 'likes', reinforce the 'notion that the most valuable thing [a young woman] has to offer the world is her looks.'[34] The Jezebel post provoked commentary on Twitter from users arguing that selfies could empower women by promoting different standards of beauty, leading to the adoption of the hashtag #feministselfie.[35] Media critic Jennifer Pozner saw selfies as particularly powerful for women and girls did not see themselves portrayed in mainstream media.[36]

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