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Wednesday, February 21
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The Selfies that added Poonam Pandey’s Popularity

The Selfies that added Poonam Pandey’s Popularity


mangaloretoday.com


Poonam Pandey first started tweeting in February 2011. She was 20 and had been a model for three-odd years. In the first few weeks/months, she tweeted links to wallpaper versions of her on Santabanta.com – India’s favorite source for glossy desi celebrity desktop wallpapers. Then, for the next few months, she tweeted corny jokes, riddles and images from her bikini shoots – dedicating the pictures to her “tweethearts”, the name she says she coined for her Twitter followers and fans.


poonam pande-s...



In September of 2011, Pandey first tweeted a selfie – one in a black, full-sleeved, V-neck t-shirt that displayed some cleavage with a caption that said, “Love Clicking Myself.. :P”. However, experts might only recognize the one that came a month later as a true selfie. By definition, if both your hands are in the picture and it’s not a mirror shot, technically, it’s not a selfie – it’s a portrait. Today, the selfies or other pictures that she tweets don’t have the finishing touches of a professional photoshoot but the intimacy that only the faux-high resolution of a phone camera, bad lighting and a lack of framing can provide.

Over the last three years, Pandey’s selfies have been a particular combination of cheek and circumspection, and the subject of much conversation and social memes – from her World Cup campaign promising to go nude for the Indian cricket team if they won to her tweet welcoming the PMO to Twitter. By 2012, she was arguably one of the first people in India to crack the social media celebrity angle – armed with the power of selfies and the wit to caption them.

 

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“Selfies aur mera toh jaise janmo-janmo ka rishta hai… [Selfies and I have had a relationship for several lifetimes…]” Pandey says. She has a big, open laugh and is wearing a short yellow dress on the afternoon that I meet her. She swivels from side to side on an executive chair at her publicist’s office, her leopard print handbag on one side of the desk between us and her iPhone lying screen down on the other. Phones can never be too far from selfie-lovers, like the daemons that belong to the children in The Golden Compass. As Pandey likes to say, “Even on a shoot, phones distract a lot but for selfies I am toh set – no matter where I am.” I ask her which was the first phone she owned. “I have lost like more than 10 phones although I know I have been using the iPhone for the longest.”

 

poonam pande-s...


Vipin Medhekar, her publicist who was also sitting in on the interview, reminds her, “Was it the first iPhone?” He walks in and out of the cabin Pandey and I are sitting in (to take work calls) and add a word or two every now and then to the conversation. Medhekar’s Twitter profile contains a mashed-up quote from Ryan Holiday’s Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator: “A manipulator I’m paid to deceive. My job is to lie, cheat, bribe, and connive My Brands and abuse my understanding of the Internet to do it. Trust Me, I’m Lying.”

“I don’t think so,” says Pandey


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