We speak to Matthew Hart, a PhD student researching the selfie, about why there is an emotional and social upside of posting NSFW pictures of yourself online.
Since the iPhone gods delivered us the front facing camera, people have had a complex relationship with Selfies. To many, they’re seen as the domain of the fickle and self obsessed, something people do only when they’re clamouring for likes and validation. Their nude cousin invites even more debate, despite its unceasing omnipresence in our culture.
We’re all guilty of taking countless flattering self-portraits — most of which will never be seen by anyone except us. Clothes on or off, there is a creeping compulsion to document our own bodies. Few people are more interested in our collective obsession than Matthew Hart, a PhD student at Western Sydney University. His research looks at why young people post NSFW selfies on Tumblr.
To Matthew, naked selfies are more than an attention grab: they’re a key part of how young people use the Internet as a tool in self-exploration. i-D called him up to chat about how a naked selfie is a highly evolved act.