It seems that people have always wanted to capture an image of themselves. Today it’s the selfie – our culture of narcissism run amok. While in London recently, my wife and I constantly dodged people taking selfies in front of all the major sites. Selfies in front of Big Ben, selfies on the London Eye, selfies at the theatre and selfies in Westminster Abbey, as if taking a selfie with God.
When we visited the British Museum, I observed a young woman taking a selfie in front of this statue, and I realized that this statue itself is a selfie. An ancient selfie, captured in stone instead of pixels. Back in the day – this is one of the kings of ancient Egypt, probably a buddy of the young Moses – only kings could take a selfie. You had to come to power, then enslave people to carry your stones and build your massive works and then put your carved image on top. All so that you could show off to the people around you.
People don’t really change, do they? Ever and always centered on ourselves. Museums everywhere contains statues and images people from the past created to show themselves to the world. And likely created so that they could gaze at how good they looked in stone. So remember, when you’re taking your next selfie, that it might just show up in a future museum. So brush your hair and look good for the camera!