President Obama Gets the Flak for Taking ‘Selfie’ at Mandela’s Memorial
Everyone would agree that there is nothing wrong with taking a ‘selfie.’ However, high-profile personalities should still exercise discretion especially when taking such a personal photo in public. They should learn to acknowledge and respect any occasion where they are in, or face the criticism of being insensitive.
This was the case when US President Barack Obama took a ‘selfie’ while attending former South African President Nelson Mandela’s recent memorial service. The occasion was held on Tuesday (December 10). On that memorial service, Mr. Obama delivered a heartfelt eulogy for the African leader.
However, it seemed that his sincerity could be doubted after a photograph was released on that event. In the picture, Mr. Obama was grinning for a ‘selfie,’ along with Danish premier Helle Thorning-Schmidt and British premier David Cameron.
Leaders take ‘selfie’ in memorial service
In the image captured candidly by AFP, Thorning-Schmidt was holding up her modern mobile phone. Mr. Obama seemed like he was providing a helping hand. Cameron later on joined them. Interestingly, all three were smiling broadly within their seats. The location was identified as Soweto’s World Cup stadium.
More interestingly, First Lady Michelle Obama was sitting at the side of Mr. Obama. But unlike the three, she did not join the lighthearted moment. In fact, she kept her eyes firmly nailed on the podium wherein other world leaders meet to pay tribute to Mandela, who recently died at the age of 95.
Not making any comment
The offices of the three leaders opted to not make any comment regarding the controversial photo. Across the Web, most observers think that Mrs. Obama seemed to be not amused by that impromptu photo shoot.
‘Selfie’ stands short for self-portrait. The word was immediately picked up by international media and went viral across the social media. There is now a debate about whether such a moment of mirth should be appropriate for a similar occasion.
The word became massively popular that it was even declared as the new word of the year by the Oxford Dictionaries. As a dictionary entry, a ‘selfie’ is a photograph taken by one’s self using a webcam or a smartphone. In the same definition, the photograph should first be uploaded to and shared across the Internet. There is no formal directive whether a ‘selfie’ should be taken only during light and not-so-serious affairs.