As by the girl whoclicks the picture

As mentioned earlier, the material-image is static and has diachronicrelationship with the spectator contrasting to the virtual image which is performative andanachronistic. I prefer labelling it as performative since it is presented as ‘new’ every timewhen a new audience experiences it. In other words, the virtual image exists in eternity,therefore, anachronistic; and the interpretation is not linear in time because it occurs indifferent layers at the same time, or even further, outliving the time. Thus, the virtualbecomes a perfect example of postmodern society where the metanarratives of ‘truth’ aresubstituted by numerous stories. Interestingly, instead of offering a transparent meaningthe virtual images, in this case selfies, are opaque/impervious (Moxey, 77). That is, thesignificance is not clear as the reading depends entirely on the audience; the culturalbackground and personal stories of the spectators establish the course of the interpretationby determining the binary of empowerment/disempowerment.Part of the difficulty of defining “selfie” stems from this implied otherness which isalmost always present/absent, implicitly or explicitly, when compared to concepts likeempowerment, narcissism, domination, branding etc. A full definition of selfie must takethese issues in account as the present/absent other will always affect the connotations. Ifone categorizes selfie-taking as narcissistic behaviour then the positive sides of the selfiewill be absent and undermined, and vice versa while considering this practice asempowering. The main argument which I am going to present is in effect an empty oropen-ended conceptual category, one which can be discussed in a wide variety ofconflicting ways depending on the context of use. Concerning Barthes’ process ofsignification5 (Myth, 113) – the mechanisms by which he described how meanings areproduced and circulated – I believe that the secondary signification and connotation of aselfie demands close attention. Barthes suggests myth has “a double function: it points outand it notifies, it makes us understand something and it imposes it on us” (Myth, 114)which certainly helps to understand how selfie can be defined. Necessary culturalcompetence and perspicacity are also crucial and Barthes conclude s by saying “thevariation in readings is not, however, anarchic; it depends on the different kinds ofknowledge – practical, national, cultural, aesthetic – invested in the image by the reader”(Rhetoric, 46). Therefore, connotation of a selfie is not simply produced by the girl whoclicks the picture and posts it, instead it is activated form an already existing ideology and 
cultural repertoire, and counter myth. Not only myth but Barthes also introduces a numberof considerations while decoding an image and points out that if the shared code is notsame for the audience then the meaning will not be linear. Moreover, while interpreting aselfie one must take into consideration the index of empowerment/disempowerment,freedom/manipulation, homogeneity/heterogeneity as these ideas are decoded differentlyfrom various perspectives and the same selfie might seem different depending on thespectator’s viewpoint. Thus, a #nomakeupselfie is not necessarily a mere selfie takenwithout wearing any makeup, rather it might contain a far deeper meaning associated withnarcissism or empowerment and it is this level of secondary signification where mythabout ‘celebrating sexuality’ or ‘women empowerment’ is created.