Artist Boycotts Selfie Trend by ‘Dying’ at Famous Landmarks — and the Pics Are Hilarious

Why do we love to document the world around us? Is it because we want to prove that we existed, or is it simply to retain a memory? Whatever prompts regular ol’ “selfies,” or self-portraits, most definitely does not propel the new trend of STEFDIES.

Unlike selfies, STEFDIES encourage the viewer to participate. The trend was started by artist and comic Stephanie Leigh Rose who is known for “dying” at famous landmarks to get her STEFDIES.

Rose told Bored Panda:

“The entire point of STEFDIES, is that the viewer is allowed to participate in the image-, whether that is by imagining the circumstances of the surrounding image, or in recreating the STEFDIES pose in their own photos. My long hair (and swimsuit in selected photos) would allude to the fact I am a female, but outside of a viewer coming to one of my gallery shows and meeting me personally, I prefer to keep STEFDIES neutral and free of age, nationality, politic, socioeconomic status.”

Aries, France

“STEFDIES is a character of its own, and I invite people to connect with that, and interpret the scenes as they wish. Part of the joy and humor of STEFDIES, is no-one knows exactly what the hell is going on, and that’s pretty much a direct reflection of real life in general.

Unlike selfies, there is no preparing for a STEFDIE. “All STEFDIES images occur spontaneously in my daily life. The images the viewer happens to see are the 25% of images that are useable. This is why a STEFDIES image is the opposite of a selfie. A selfie has controlled conditions, specific lighting, makeup/hair/wardrobe, an agenda, and is focused on the individual personality- it is a contrived and manipulated image distorted to achieve a desired result. STEFDIES is the polar opposite- I get one chance to get the shot, if it doesn’t happen, c’est la vie. We have one life to live, and we don’t get re-do’s- and i would like to think i try to capture that feeling, that fleeting sense of life and its impermanence, in my photos.”

Cueva Grande, Canarias, Spain

“There was an organic evolution to STEFDIES. The early STEFDIES photos were humor snapshots of my life, pretty much in times I was completely exhausted and amused by the situations I found myself in, and wanted to capture these moments in time, to be able to remember and reflect on those points in my life that seems utterly ridiculous.

So STEFDIES has always been a direct reflection of my desire to hold onto these seemingly minor or huge moments of my life, that I knew would be washed away to the ravages of time or memory, if i didn’t capture them in their proper moment. Never perfect, as perfection is not what I aim for, but merely the reality of the situation in all of its imperfections.”

Monopoli Cathedral

“As I posted some of these initial shots, I received an incredible response from friends and strangers alike, something in the ridiculousness of these poses, or the reactions of the passer-by. It brought them joy they wrote, it made their day a little bit brighter and brought them a much needed laugh. I realized I wanted to continue putting something positive into the world, while at the same time using art to synthesize my feelings and thoughts regarding our impermanence on this earth. The official STEFDIES slogan is ‘leave a mark.’ I’d like to think I’m doing that.”

UK

“For me as an artist and individual, I push myself to take these photos (in the most uncomfortable of situations) as it allows me to participate in capturing a moment in time physically as well as mentally and emotionally. I have to totally commit to being ‘in the moment’ to get that one shot. I have to take myself out of my one head and get into the moment. Believe me, it’s really hard not to be present when you are face down eating dirt, and could be tempted at any time.”

Capo Circeo Lighthouse

“I want to keep producing images that stir the imagination and produce joy for the viewer. I also want to continue to produce photos that are all age appropriate, and inclusive. For example, many school groups follow the STEFDIES series, as they considerate a good tool to teach young adults there are alternatives to the perfectionism of selfies and online culture.”

ARTHOUSE1

“STEFDIES welcomes everyone to participate, and doesn’t care about about status or perfection. I hope that STEFDIES promotes the idea of ‘everyone is prefect exactly how they are, and not a damn thing has to be changed.’”

The artist can’t remember when, exactly, she started taking STEFDIES. But, she thinks it was about eight years ago.

As I mentioned earlier, there are many attempts but not all photos come to fruition. I would say [I took] over 1000 different images, but [only] a few hundred useable ones, and out of that only a handful that make it out on social media. One of my original intentions was to have a series of coffee table books that chronicle the STEFDIES series, so many images have not been released as they are being reserved for the book series.”

Corse, France

Her message has caught on.

“STEFDIES has quite the following – as it should – they are super fun to do and always get a good laugh! We have a few hashtags people use – #stefdieswithme #stefdiesfan, etc. Many people will send me their interpretations of the STEFDIES pose, which I love!”

Tuileries Garden

For those who want to join the movement, she says:

“Just have fun, and commit to the process! Don’t be afraid to look silly, and remember to be safe. Many don’t actually get the pose correct, as it requires the face to be completely flat on the ground (not to the side) but most people don’t like their mouth touching the disgusting items on the ground … and rightfully so. Just be yourself and that is good enough, and at the end of the day, incredibly interesting.”

Rome, Italy

Golden Gate Bridge

San Diego Zoo

Seine River, Paris, France

Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

h/t Bored Panda, Instagram 

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