Selfie Stick, a charming, lighthearted production by BBC New Creatives explores the ever-present issue of social media vanity and self-obsession.
The delightful short piece focuses on Amber (Rhianna Hosmer), a typical teenager who begins her day scrolling aimlessly past clickbait articles that aren't true. Like many, she does her makeup and begins to take selfies – until a gust of wind mystically freezes her selfie pout, reminiscent of the 2014 hit that we love to hate, Selfie (which as of 2021, is shockingly seven years old).
Amusingly, while most people might panic when stuck in a pout, our selfie-obsessed teen half panics and half continues to take selfies to capture her best angle. She glances back over what one can only assume to be 'happier times' in her childhood where she smiled, instead of pouted. It's an interesting exploration of today's generational obsession with social media and selfies.
Amber's perfect pout is enough to make you grimace and check your lips to make sure they're not also stuck there. Selfie Stick doesn’t shy away from exploring the mental health aspects of self-worth. The film invites the viewer to observe features in Amber's room, with a waste bin filled with labels such as "girl" "party" "nice" "life". In their place are mementos from her childhood – smiling photos, and "happy" and "girl boss" labels revealing her transformation. Selfies have long been documented as detrimental to mental health, and these labels link to the gilded online persona and carefully curated social media posts.
In just three short minutes, writer and director Katie Bonham manages to present a film that expertly straddles the line between light comical entertainment and commentary on a damaging social media trend.
We also interviewed Katie Bonham, and you can read that interview here.
New Creatives is a talent development scheme supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts. Check out our New Creatives coverage in the New Creatives Voicebox.