Funeral selfies: to snap or not to snap?

2015-04-12 08:30

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

David Cameron, Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Barack Obama take a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial

Two years ago, President Barack Obama and other world leaders paused to take a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, and numerous other people share snaps of themselves at funerals. Malibongwe Tyilo looks into whether funeral selfies are really a thing.

I live next to a church that occasionally holds funeral services. Two weeks ago, I saw a bunch of youngsters, who looked as though they were in the thick of their teenage years, all smiles, taking a jolly group selfie outside the church after one such service.

To be fair, their outfits, hair and make-up looked amazing. It would have been a missed social-media opportunity had they let the presence of a corpse get in the way of a good outfit picture.

My curiosity was piqued. Was the funeral selfie a thing? Am I missing out? Being someone who is easily fascinated by the morbid, I immediately searched for #FuneralSelfie and #FuneralOutfit hashtags on Instagram.

A part of me expected sad faces baiting for sympathy, perhaps even a few fake tears. Not so, it seems. No one was trying to ruin their good looks and smudge their make-up with tears.

Instead, I was greeted by smiling and immaculately made-up faces, salon-fresh hair and a few group selfies of people who seemed genuinely excited to be with cousins and other family members they hadn’t seen in a while.

The pictures were mostly of people who wanted to show us just how stylishly they could pay their last respects. I couldn’t judge, and neither did the commenters. “Sorry for your loss, but you look absolutely stunning, doll.”

As for the hashtags, #FuneralSelfie #FuneralOutifit #OutfitOfTheDay #SadDay #DressedNice #LayingSizweToRest #ButItsACelebration lived side by side.

Youngish funeral directors, priests and priestesses have also joined in on the fun, snapping a quick pic to let us know the look they are donning for the proceedings.

Bless. I can only hope that, when my time comes, I will have such a person presiding over my final farewell gig – a person who understands the importance of looks and likes.

Ukhozi FM’s Zama Ngcobo posted this image of herself at Mandela’s funeral with the hashtag #IWasThere

Here’s the thing. We all know the importance of a good outfit when it comes to a funeral.

Never mind how many funerals we have or haven’t attended ourselves, just switch on the telly during celebrity funerals – everyone who watches does so while obsessing over what the famous are wearing.

For many people, especially the young, funerals and weddings are the two events when they are most likely to wear their smartest outfits. Then there’s also the importance of making sure everyone gets to see your most stylish get-ups in the social-media age.

Like the celebrities whose #FuneralOutfits are celebrated on screens and in the pages of magazines all over the world, should we not be able to turn the cameras on ourselves?

Should our followers not get to obsess over our mourning style? In fact, they could be sitting at home wondering what to wear to an upcoming funeral. They need our inspiration.

Never mind the Judgy Judies, snap a funeral selfie for the living.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.