Released on 15 June 2017.

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Selfie

How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us

4.16 based on 138 ratings & 22 reviews on Goodreads.com

Synopsis

‘Fascinating’ Guardian
‘Brilliant’ Evening Standard
‘Electrifying’ Financial Times
‘So interesting I literally couldn’t put it down’ Sunday Times

We live in the age of the individual. We are supposed to be slim, prosperous, happy, extroverted and popular. This is our culture’s image of the perfect self. We see this person everywhere: in advertising, in the press, all over social media. We’re told that to be this person you just have to follow your dreams, that our potential is limitless, that we are the source of our own success.

But this model of the perfect self can be extremely dangerous. People are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy. Unprecedented social pressure is leading to increases in depression and suicide. Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell?

To answer these questions, Selfie by Will Storr takes us 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-individualistic neoliberalism in which we live now.

It tells the extraordinary story of the person we all know so intimately – our self.

As featured on Russell Brand's Under The Skin podcast.

In the media

You’ll find yourself repeating entire sections of Selfie to your friends, and passing them off as your own.
Cosmopolitan
A hugely important subject, and a compelling one . . . always entertainingly delivered thanks to Storr’s rich reporting. More than that, by taking a hammer to the sacred idea of the self – by putting culture back in the picture – Storr provides a much-needed corrective to our understanding of who we are. For that reason alone, Selfie should be welcomed.
Literary Review
The other celebrity podcast I’ve been enjoying is Russell Brand’s Under the Skin . . . He wants Answers with a capital A: the meaning of life, the short cut to spiritual awakening, the revolution that will overthrow the president, the place of economic and political systems within history, how terrorism works and if it can be stopped, ditto religion . . . Not much small talk here. High-profile guests such as Adam Curtis, Naomi Klein, Yanis Varoufakis and Yuval Noah Harari join Brand in trying to unpick humanity’s most tangled knots . . . The latest episode has Will Storr discussing why the selfie is an indication of the narcissistic western approach to individuality, and it’s fascinating.
Observer

Will Storr introduces Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us