Kirsten Dunst Short “Aspirational” Illustrates Awkward Selfie Culture

Let’s be honest: there’s no shortage of people taking a jab at “selfie culture.”

But where most criticisms take the stance of calling those who take and post pictures of themselves on sites like Instagram narcissistic and shallow (a critique that doesn’t hold up particularly well for countless reasons, including how people have um, always taken pictures of themselves), the above short film by Matthew Frost takes a slightly different approach. Aspirational, featuring Kirsten Dunst, aspires to show us just how awkward interactions can be when it’s so ingrained in us that sure, approaching someone and taking selfies is just part of every day life in our culture. And to be fair, the awkwardness (in and out of the film) doesn’t come just with selfies. Everything is about likes and shares and follows, making it easy to lose the human aspect of interfacing without realizing it. Even the two friends in the film who approach Kirsten and snap their selfies barely seem aware of one another; they talk over and around each other, more concerned about getting reactions from strangers online.

My own approach when meeting celebrities I love has often just been to politely ask for a picture and let them go about their day. But this makes you wonder if that just promotes the idea of people being commodities to collect and gush over rather than human beings. Regardless of where anyone’s opinion lands, this video should at least compel some reflection.