Selfie-ish! Woman attacked for snapping a suicide 'selfie'

New York Post front page

New York Post devotes front page to woman who posed for 'selfie' as man tried to jump from Brooklyn Bridge

LAST UPDATED AT 14:49 ON Thu 5 Dec 2013

NEW YORKERS are outraged after a woman posed for a self-portrait, or 'selfie', in front of the Brooklyn Bridge as a man was attempting to commit suicide.

The New York Post, which had a reporter and photographer at the scene, gave over its entire front page to a photograph of the unnamed woman. It was accompanied by the headline: "Selfie-ish! – My photo with Brooklyn Bridge suicide dude".

"With scores of onlookers watching the dramatic 10am rescue by cops, the crass camerawoman turned her back to the scene, angled her phone toward the bridge and snapped a shot," the Post says. "The scarf-clad blonde even cracked a thin smile."

The paper says the woman's actions suggest America's "selfie obsession" has "reached a new low". While the unidentified man did not jump from the bridge – he was talked down by police officers – the Post says the woman's actions are appalling.

Selfies have become "wildly popular", the paper says. So popular, in fact, that the term was named word of the year for 2013 by the Oxford Dictionaries.

The Brooklyn self-portrait was quickly branded "the world's worst selfie" by US media and the woman who took it was berated on social media.

Writing in The Guardian, Jonathan Jones says the selfie craze "has clearly got out of hand", but he says we shouldn't hate the woman on the cover of the Post. Writes Jones: "This woman has been held up as a villain of our times when all she did was follow convention. She is, in fact, doing what the culture told her was the right thing."

Jones adds that the "hapless Brooklyn bridge selfie-taker" is simply a scapegoat for "our deep, perhaps irresolvable confusions about the way we live now". · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.

Read more about