It ended up being kind of a crazy beginning to #selfie month, with these articles popping up in Meg-land: the New York Times on selfie friendly phones, cats taking selfies, and New York Magazine’s art-history style deconstruction of the selfie. The last article contained the following paragraph (and many more like it), which I tried very hard to read to David with a straight face:
Excluding those taken in mirrors—a distinct subset of this universe—selfies are nearly always taken from within an arm’s length of the subject. For this reason the cropping and composition of selfies are very different from those of all preceding self-portraiture. There is the near-constant visual presence of one of the photographer’s arms, typically the one holding the camera. Bad camera angles predominate, as the subject is nearly always off-center. The wide-angle lens on most cell-phone cameras exaggerates the depth of noses and chins, and the arm holding the camera often looks huge. (Over time, this distortion has become less noticeable. Recall, however, the skewed look of the early cell-phone snap.) If both your hands are in the picture and it’s not a mirror shot, technically, it’s not a selfie—it’s a portrait.
I failed (on the straight face front). And then the following conversation ensued:
David: Is this a conspiracy? Is that why you’re having #selfie month this month? It’s in every article this month, how is it #selfie month on APW? HOW DID YOU PICK THAT?
Meg: I donno, we’re just good at our jobs I guess?
David: Bullshit. You’re on one of those media email chains.
David: Like the fashion email chain. The one where they decide, “We’re all going to be into blue polka dots this season, and menswear for women.” You’re in on that, but for media.
Welcome to APW #selfie month. It’s obviously totally a conspiracy.
And along those lines, if you haven’t been checking out the #APWselfie hashtag on Instagram (I can’t link to that, damn Instagram) you should, on your phone, because it is amazing. It’s just the best of the APW community in action, and reminds me of why I love y’all so hard. We’re reposting smart and interesting stuff as fast as we can, but check out this one, and this one, and my first attempt. But mostly, check out the bravest selfie you may ever see (Do it). So many more to come, so take out your phone and follow us on Instagram. #APWentrepreneurship conversations are happening over there as well, and one should pop up this afternoon!
And now, your link roundup and open thread. We’ve included and extra link roundup about the Dylan Farrow story, which we think is particularly important, but also has a trigger warning attached.
Highlights of APW This Week
We kicked off #selfie month.
When families are complicated, sometimes you have to step back and focus on keeping sane and getting to the good part (aka marriage.)
Giving the middle finger to being “classically pretty.”
Women proposing to men alert!
Lots of great advice in this week’s open thread about delegating wedding tasks to friends.
For all of you in the Midwest feeling left out by the big wedding blogs because you’re not getting married in Southern California or New York? This one is for YOU.
Family heirlooms are lovely when they work, but sometimes they come with a lot of baggage.
A roundup of the best of APW’s take on what it means to be a self-full wife.
Some cute foodie Valentine’s cards from Paperless Post.
A cool portrait series feature older burlesque stars.
Tintypes from the Sundance Film Festival. Just beautiful.
A lovely writeup on the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman that does justice to his work. It’s the actor in me, but I’m devastated by the huge loss of such an immense talent. And a quote from Aaron Sorkin, “Phil Hoffman did not die from an overdose of heroin—he died from heroin. We should stop implying that if he’d just taken the proper amount then everything would have been fine.”
SNL’s “Black History Month” sketch is perfect. Maddie’s confession: “I’ve watched it ten times…today.”
What J.K. Rowling’s newest revelation tells us about true love in the world of Harry Potter. Thoughts, Harry Potter fans? The staff has been discussing all week. (Hint: we think Hermione was too good for any of those boys, though Ginny Weasley could hold her own.)
Truth about making things, from The Oatmeal. Older, but still good.
A case study in sexist double standards.
And as the 2014 Winter Olympics open tonight, a long, heartbreaking read on being gay in Russia.
Childhood sexual abuse is a subject that’s particularly important to several APW staff members and many readers, so we wanted to take a time out to respect Dylan Farrow’s bravery this week, and bring you a link roundup of articles we found particularly helpful on this subject. Some of you may be having conversations with important people in your lives this week about how we treat childhood victims of sexual abuse, and how our culture gives the alleged perpetrator (particularly when they are male and powerful) very different treatment than the alleged victim. We hope these articles aid you in having smart discussions.
From the best piece I read on the subject, “Woody Allen’s Good Name,” “If you are saying things like ‘We can’t really know what happened’ and extra-specially pleading on behalf of the extra-special Woody Allen, then you are saying that his innocence is more presumptive than hers. You are saying that he is on trial, not her: he deserves judicial safeguards in the court of public opinion, but she does not.”
Jessica Valenti in The Nation: “We know one in five girl children are sexually assaulted. Yet when victims speak out, we ask them why they waited so long to talk. We question why don’t they remember the details better. We suspect that they misunderstood what happened.”
Lena Dunham nails it on Twitter, of all places, “These are not stories we tell for fun, attention or revenge.”
Related and informative: Roman Polanski raped a child (TRIGGER WARNING, GRAPHIC.)
Geimer, on her childhood assault by Polanski, and the last three-plus decades, “It’s very hard to control the narrative.”
And finally, because it’s important, a long article from New York Magazine a few weeks ago, about what a false and coerced childhood sexual abuse claim really looks like, years after the fact.
Thumbnail image by Meg for APW
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