The Amorist was distracted from her morning coffee recently by a mother and child reunion at a neighbouring table, where the precociously pretty six year old spent half an hour pouting into her phone for selfies, whilst mum texted away at her own small screen.
It was a dispiriting sight to observe such a young child so preoccupied with her own image, so when Zadie Smith spoke up at the Edinburgh international Book Festival about limiting her own seven-year-old daughter’s ‘mirror time’ to fifteen minutes, the Amorist felt like cheering. Smith explained that she told her daughter she was wasting valuable time that could be spent on far more interesting tasks. ‘You are wasting time, your brother is not going to waste time doing this’, she said.
A quick survey of The Amorist office revealed widely differing views about selfies and mirror-watching. Our freelance editorial whizz, Josa, defended the selfie as a weapon of empowerment for women, for too long seen only through the objectifying male gaze.
She added that, having had a strabismus in her eye corrected recently, she appreciates being able to see herself looking normal in selfies, having avoided photography for years. Her forgiving view of teens who spend entire journeys gurning into phones is that 'they're trying to work out who they are'.
Meanwhile Eliza, the ravishing Amorist intern, reveals that she attended a school where all mirrors were banned. What did she think of that? I didn’t think about it, she shrugged. Surely that says it all.
Sex is funny