One should be able to post a butt selfie–a “belfie”–whenever one likes, without fear of reprimand. I would not want to live in a county which restricted its peoples’ freedom of expression.
And yet, the wisdom of the “belfie” must be called into question; for freedom of any kind, taken to extremes, leads to isolation, loneliness, and depression. In this case, attention becomes a stand-in for human intimacy, and when no intimacy arrives, loneliness does instead.
One could instead wake up, and realize there is only now.
This was a subject of Oscar Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. In it, our young character Dorian is infatuated with his own self-portrait, coming to believe that beauty is the only thing worth pursuing. Dorian wishes his portrait would age, as he remains young and beautiful forever.
And indeed, as the novel progresses Gray remains young, self-indulgent, violent, sensual, intensely sexual, and yes, very beautiful. Meanwhile, his portrait magically ages, turning grotesque, becoming a portrait of Dorian’s inner life, his soul you might say.
In the end, Dorian comes to regret his misdeeds–though only in vain–hoping that in rectifying them his portrait will return to it’s former beauty. When it doesn’t, Dorian stabs the picture with a knife.
The next morning, Dorian, now an old man, is found dead on the ground, while the picture has returned to its former beauty.