Monday, August 11, 2014

Kim Kardashian and the culture of Narcissism - Kidlit Authors propose an antidote! The #selfless campaign

Yesterday, we learned that Kim Kardashian is going to publish a book of 352 selfies called "Selfish."

I won't post a picture.

But I will post one quote from the article:

"So I had Stephanie (her assistant) get a Polaroid and we were taking photos around the entire house … making this cool book and it ended up turning out so cool we came up with this idea to do a selfie book so I'm going to make some super racy. I mean, every girl takes like full like pictures of their a-- in the mirror."

Do we? Do we really? I created this survey to test Ms. Kardashian's hypothesis. Please take the survey!

I was teaching a writing workshop a few weeks ago, and two students (12 and 14) were arguing about who was more popular and cool based on how many followers they had on Instagram and how many "likes" their posts got. It made me incredibly sad.

That's why I'm so happy that my work as a writer for young people has brought me into the incredible #kidlit community. My fellow Kidlit authors are the antidote to the culture of narcissism I see in so many other realms of today's society. Just after I'd posted a link to this news accompanied an expression of despair, my friend Melodye Shore had a great idea:

This is one of the many reasons I love my work and the wonderful community of writers I get to work with. Within an hour, Melodye set up a Facebook page, Hashtagselfless, with this description:

A collection of selfies in which ordinary people go about their everyday lives, doing/observing extraordinary things, maybe, but w/o #Selfish motives.

The motivation behind this campaign is similar to the work of one of the most incredible organizations I've had the privilege to be associated with, StoryCorps. Founded by Dave Isay, StoryCorps records "our" stories - interviews of "ordinary" people, who, when we get to hear their stories, are far from ordinary. I learned more about parenting from MOM: A Celebration of moms from StoryCorps than I did from any parenting book. Yet we get swamped with "celebrity mom" parenting books, published not because the celebrity has proved to be a great parent, but merely by virtue of their fame.

I've learned to find my heroes in real life, not reality shows.

Help us celebrate #selfless by posting pictures to your social networks using the hashtag. Visit the HashtagSelfless Facebook page and post there.

Let's try to give our young people some more inspiring, non-celebrity folks to look up to.


  1. Hee! :)

    I'm thrilled beyond words to be a member of the #Kidlit community--where creativity rules, and everyday heroes reign supreme. Can't wait to see everyone's contributions to the #Selfless page!

  2. That is just like Melodye!
    I'm not on Facebook and I rarely take pictures of anything (I don't own a camera and my phone is only a phone), but wish you well with the campaign.