Cover image for Selfie : how we became so self-obsessed and what it's doing to us / Will Storr.
Title:
Selfie : how we became so self-obsessed and what it's doing to us / Will Storr.
Author:
ISBN:
9781468315899
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Overlook Press , 2018.

©2018
Physical Description:
403 pages ; 24 cm
Contents:
The dying self -- The tribal self -- The perfectible self -- The bad self -- The good self -- The special self -- The digital self -- How to stay alive in the age of perfectionism.
Abstract:
"We are living in an age of heighted individualism. Success is a personal responsibility. Out culture tells us that to succeed is to be slim, rich, happy, extroverted, popular--flawless. We have become self-obsessed. And our expectation of perfection comes at a cost. Millions are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy. The pressure to conform to this ideal has changed who we are. It was not always like this. To explain how we got here, award-winning journalist Will Storr takes us on a journey across continents and centuries to explore the origins of this notion of the perfect self that torments so many of us: Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell? Full of thrilling and unexpected connections among history, psychology, economics, neuroscience, and more, Selfie is an unforgettable book that makes sense of who we have become. Ranging from Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of narcissism and the "selfie" generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualism in which we live now, Selfie tells the epic tale of the person we all know so intimately--because it's us."--Dust jacket.
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Summary

Summary

We live in the age of the individual. Every day, we're bombarded with depictions of the beautiful, successful, slim, socially conscious, and extroverted individual that our culture has decided is the perfect self, and we berate ourselves when we don't measure up. This model of the perfect self and the impossibly high standards it sets can be extremely dangerous. People are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy, and unprecedented social pressure is leading to increases in depression and suicide. Journalist and novelist Will Storr began to wonder about this perfect self that torments so many of us: Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell?To answer these questions, Storr takes the reader on a journey from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of narcissism and the "selfie" generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualism in which we live now. Selfie tells the epic tale of the person we all know so intimately--because it's us.


Author Notes

Will Storr is an award-winning novelist and long-form journalist. He has reported from refugee camps in Africa, war-torn rural Colombia, and remote Aboriginal communities in Australia. He is a contributing editor at Esquire, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Observer, The Sunday Times, and The Guardian. In 2012, he was presented with the Amnesty International award for his work on sexual violence against men. In 2013, his BBC radio series won the AIB award for best investigative documentary. He is author of The Unpersuadables (available from Overlook), Will Storr vs. The Supernatural and The Hunger and the Howling of Killian Lone.


Table of Contents

A note on the textp. xii
Book 0 The Dying Selfp. 1
Book 1 The Tribal Selfp. 21
Book 2 The Perfectible Selfp. 51
Book 3 The Bad Selfp. 85
Book 4 The Good Selfp. 117
Book 5 The Special Selfp. 171
Book 6 The Digital Selfp. 243
Book 7 How to Stay Alive in the Age of Perfectionismp. 303
Acknowledgementsp. 337
A note on my methodp. 339
Notes and referencesp. 341
Indexp. 393

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