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Christmas Lecture

You are invited to join us at our Philosophy Christmas Lecture 2023 to celebrate the end of term!

Date: Wednesday 6 December (Week 10), 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Location: L3 Sciences Concourse

Professor Heather Widdows (Philosophy Department, University of Warwick) will present ‘Myself and my selfie.'

The talk takes two arguments from Perfect Me – that beauty is a dominant value framework and that
our bodies are ourselves – and extends them into the virtual world of social media. In the shift to the
virtual our ‘self’, who we are, moves from our ‘inner life’ (our character, feelings and thoughts) to our
bodies ‘the outer’, to our curated images on TikTok and Instagram. This dislocation of the self has
some features which are continuous with identifying ourselves with our bodies. For example,
appearance is paramount on social media and only some faces and bodies make the grade, also, like
body work in the ‘real’ world, ‘doing the gram’ takes extraordinary effort. However, the selfie-self,
unlike the transforming and imagined self, is a concrete object, an ‘end point’, which we know is fake.
While we know in theory that no one looks like their Instagram, in practice we compare our actual
bodies with everyone else’s ideal selfie. Even those who look like they succeed on social media, are
liked and followed by thousands, cannot close the gap between their ‘real’ selves and their selfie.

With responses by:
• Ben Campion (PhD student)
• Kaylei Vernon (UG student, 3rd year PPL)
• Erin Doherty (UG student 3rd year PPE)
17:00 – Socialising and nibbles
17:30 – Heather Widdows presents ‘Myself and my selfie’
19:00 – More socialising and nibbles