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Are Selfie Bans Going Too Far?

Last week those classy folk who run the international film festival at Cannes announced that this year they would be condemning the taking of selfies on the illustrious red carpet and famous steps.

Festival director and Frenchman, Thierry Frémaux justified the festival’s stance by saying, ‘We are waging a campaign to slow down the contemporary practice of selfies on the red carpet and the steps. Beyond what we think, it’s a practice that’s often extremely ridiculous and grotesque.’

Grotesque, really?

Thierry tempered his accusations of grotesque with practical reasoning – it’s all about timing. “We don’t want to prohibit it but it’s really a matter of timing,” he explained. “We have a certain amount of time to get people across the red carpet and up the steps and it really slows things down if people stop every two metres to take a picture of themselves, with themselves.”

The tirade didn’t stop there. The president of the festival Pierre Lescure also made his opinion known, “The red carpet goes around the world and we see people looking very good, and honestly you’re never as ugly as on a selfie.”

Someone has obviously never heard of image editing apps.

#RedCarpet #Aboutlastnight #Oscars #Photobomb #WILD

A photo posted by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on Feb 23, 2015 at 8:58am PST

Banning selfies on the red carpet seems to us the decision of dinosaurs. Watching award ceremonies and red carpet arrivals via the medium of celebrity social media accounts is far more fun than watching staid and advert-ridden live television broadcasts. Stars such as Reese Witherspoon and Chrissy Teigen use their Instagram and Twitter accounts to entertain their fans. It’s fun. Hardly the end of civilisation.

The selfie ban isn’t a revolutionary rule. In recent months, plenty of event organisers have tried to clamp down on the practice. Coachella banned selfie sticks, and various artistic institutions have also done so. The latter we can understand. The Sistine Chapel is crowded enough without people brandishing sticks in the air. And no one wants to be the first person to damage a priceless work of art in the midst of trying to capture the best side of your face.

However, can we call halt on this practice of condemning the selfie as the worst thing to happen to man and womankind? We’re a little bit fed up with people treating the selfie like one of the plagues rained down on Egypt during that whole Moses chapter. Also, banning selfies? That’s almost akin to trying to clamp down on the freedom of expression.

If your biggest issue with modern society is the self-portraiture, you may want to read the newspaper. There are much bigger issues facing this generation than someone sharing a snapshot of their lives with interested people.

Banning selfies on the red carpet seems to us the decision of dinosaurs. Watching award ceremonies and red carpet arrivals via the medium of celebrity social media accounts is far more fun than watching staid and advert-ridden live television broadcasts. Stars such as Reese Witherspoon and Chrissy Teigen use their Instagram and Twitter accounts to entertain their fans. It’s fun. Hardly the end of civilisation.

The selfie ban isn’t a revolutionary rule. In recent months, plenty of event organisers have tried to clamp down on the practice. Coachella banned selfie sticks, and various artistic institutions have also done so. The latter we can understand. The Sistine Chapel is crowded enough without people brandishing sticks in the air. And no one wants to be the first person to damage a priceless work of art in the midst of trying to capture the best side of your face.

However, can we call halt on this practice of condemning the selfie as the worst thing to happen to man and womankind? We’re a little bit fed up with people treating the selfie like one of the plagues rained down on Egypt during that whole Moses chapter. Also, banning selfies? That’s almost akin to trying to clamp down on the freedom of expression.

If your biggest issue with modern society is the self-portraiture, you may want to read the newspaper. There are much bigger issues facing this generation than someone sharing a snapshot of their lives with interested people.

Grazia

Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun

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