If you’ve ever browsed someone’s social media account or used a dating app then you’ve probably seen the obligatory “selfie on vacation” posts.
It’s usually a white person taking pics with people in a village somewhere talking about how “inspiring” the experience was and how “humbled” and “touched” they were by the lives of those they spent time with overseas.
It’s become such a trope that there are social media accounts dedicated to skewering this practice by satirizing the kinds of “basic” posts people post online in an attempt to “humanize” themselves, or whatever.
There are plenty of campaigns and some hilarious videos out there calling for an end to this practice but let’s be real: it’ll never stop. People are going to use the “suffering” of others and will continue to use snapshots of brown and black children in a foreign country for likes.
And some are saying that’s exactly what TV personality and comedian Ellen Degeneres did when she uploaded this obligatory “poverty picture” from her recent trip to Rwanda.
Something that offended a lot of people online, who were hurt that, in their opinion, she only added to the library of disenfranchising, “white savior” photos that are everywhere.
It started a conversation on why it’s so harmful to share these kinds of pictures.
Others said that snapping photos like this of children in Rwanda isn’t doing much to help the perception of the country and that people aren’t going to America’s homeless shelters while they travel abroad to take pictures. Which honestly, would be pretty awesome in a “see-how-it-feels?” kind of way.
Some really laid into Ellen for the upload.
She pointed out how insulting it would be if she went around to another country and snapped photos with poor white children, with her in the middle, using them to get likes.
She even pointed out the dreaded “citizen of the world” dating site photos you inevitably come across.
She also has a gripe with people who can’t wait to tell her that they visited the continent where her country of origin is located, because, honestly, who cares?
She’s just tired of the whole practice.
But she capped off the entire Twitter rant with a joke about the purported lack of seasoning traditionally absent from “white people’s” cuisine.
Some, however, didn’t feel like the backlash Ellen was facing was all that fair.
Primarily because that wasn’t the only photo or type of photo she uploaded from her trip to Rwanda.
After all, she went there with the intent of going on vacation and setting up a wildlife reserve with her wife.
What do you think? Was Ellen at fault? Or are people overreacting and taking the photo out of context?