In many self-portraits and selfies, we see ourselves as a reflection. We see ourselves the way that we look when reflected in a mirror. Rather than how we look when others snap a photo of us.
I’ve never really liked photos of myself. I prefer to be behind the camera. Not in front of it. However, I do take the occasional self-portrait. That is to say that they are creative like the above photo.
Looked at in another way, self-portraits can be seen as a form of performance. As Shakespeare wrote (c. 1599) in the play As You Like It:
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,”
Cindy Sherman is perhaps one of the most famous artists that have used photography as performance. The highly staged photos that she took of herself taking on the personas of many different stereotypes of women. Her photos are not selfies or self-portraits. They are more like acting. The photo below is from a very famous series that she created titled Film Stills.