Bubblegum pink, selfie sticks and aerobics. What better ways are there to highlight females in our society today? At least, that’s what artists Arvida Byström and Maja Malou Lyse demonstrate in their video “Selfie Stick Aerobics,” an art piece that is supposed to promote positive body image for women in a lighthearted manner.

Artists Arvida Byström and Maja Malou Lyse create a a version of popular aerobics classes to promote positive body images among women using a selfie stick. PHOTO VIA FREE STOCK PHOTOS

Artists Arvida Byström and Maja Malou Lyse create a a version of popular aerobics classes using a selfie stick to promote positive body images among women. PHOTO VIA FREE STOCK PHOTOS

This video opens up with a woman in a pink sweatshirt and pink sweatpants against a pink, sparkling background, and she is holding one of our society’s iconic inventions: the selfie stick. She speaks in a soothing, yet almost robotic voice, and explains to her “class” (as in anyone watching the video), how to set up the selfie stick to prepare for “some high energy self-admiration.” She then demonstrates what motion to do, how you should position the selfie stick to capture yourself in a flattering manner and counts off a rhythm to which she snaps a selfie, as she is running an aerobics class. As she instructs, images of makeup, hairbrushes and other products that are stereotypically thought to be used by women float around in the background.

The artists feel that this video is meant to encourage women in our society to have a positive body image. While their video is fun and entertaining, I feel that its message actually gives off the opposite impression.

To me, “Selfie Stick Aerobics” comes off as a parody of our society and, more specifically, the women in it. It describes women as extremely self-centered, shallow and superficial, who only care about their looks and how they appear on a screen. The choice of pink, pink and more pink kind of emphasizes that idea, too. The artists could have at least chosen a darker, more neutral shade. Perhaps a magenta? Additionally, by making this video all about aerobics, it almost seems as if it is mocking spinning, Zumba and other fitness classes of that sort that are so popular among our generation today. I guess the whole thing just seems too insincere to me.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m offended by this video, nor do I think the artists were wrong for making it. If it were actually mocking society, however, it would be more entertaining and interesting than it is now. If it were a parody, it would be quite a commentary on where today’s women might be heading. It suggests that they are infatuated with themselves, their smartphones and impressing the world with their “no-filter” images. In a way, it refreshingly reflects the dystopian world that our technology-addicted society might be heading towards. Sure, this might come off as a harsh reality check, but what’s wrong with that?  Something that can make that much of a statement is something to appreciate.

Nevertheless, Byström and Lyse’s video is, as the artists clearly express, absolutely 100 percent about promoting a positive body image. They even suggest that taking selfies is a way to help women regain ownership over their own image, instead of letting men make the calls. I see their point in the sense that selfies allow women to show people what to think of them, and not the other way around. I do think that is a great message, and one that should be commended, but, to me, this video really does not give off that idea. Needless to say, however much I appreciate the idea behind this video, I can’t quite give “Selfie Stick Aerobics” a standing ovation.