The legsie is the new selfie - why do we share photos of our legs on holiday?

The legsie is the new selfie – why do we share photos of our legs on holiday?

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Holiday season is now upon us, and social media profiles are increasingly full of photos of sunny beaches, food and smiling faces. New research from lastminute.com shows that 90% of Britons now spend up to 4 hours a day using digital devices when on holiday.

Much of this time is spent checking emails, or reading news. But for many this is a perfect time to update friends, family and contacts about our travels through social media channels. And when on holiday, a photo is often much better than a text update.

I’ve written before about how sharing updates from holiday is just an extension of the travelogues writers have produced since the Middle Ages. For those writers, as with us, we are trying to share a little of our experiences with those who are not able to experience them with us. And this is where photographs add a new dimension to our stories.

Whilst many of the photos we share on social media are photos of us and friends, of family, of food we eat, or the ubiquitous ‘selfie’ (taken arm outstretched). But holiday social media photos brings another phenomenon – the legsie. Photos, typically taken by the pool or beach, of the bottom half of our legs (as an example see my legs poolside in Miami in the photo above).

At first view there is something odd about this. Dismembered body parts shared for all to view. But really it is the ultimate attempt to capture a ‘wish you were here’ sentiment. Unlike the selfie where you are the subject, in the legsie it is really about anything but you. You’re not showing off your tan, but showing off your view. Including a bit of leg is just a way of saying ‘yes, this really is my view right now’.

We use social media in different ways to capture different events and different parts of our life. On many occasions we share a photo of the view we have (be it of landscape, city or even food). These shots can be highly selective – taken from a particular angle, cropped and edited. They may not truly reflect our view (or our food), but an edited view thereof.

A legsie is different – it’s the view we have, yes, but the legs are there to prove that this isn’t a staged shot. It really is the view from where we are right now.