Frequently Asked Questions about the Presidential Selfie Girls (a note from Mom)
Can either of them vote?
Emma (the brunette) is 15. Addy (the blonde) is 17 and while she cannot vote in the primary Addy will be able to vote in the general election.
Shouldn’t kids be doing something more fun with their time?
Are you kidding? To the girls this *is* fun. Look at the summer they’ve had! Not only have they gone to political events but they’ve met world leaders and have gotten selfies with them. The fact that they’ve learned about common core, the Middle East, the economy, and immigration only sweetens the pot.
What was the point of this?
The girls (being the children of a journalist and a photographer) knew they’d be going to see politicians over the summer and after Emma got her first selfie with Chris Christie, Addy decided that as long as they were going to events they should try to get a selfie with each candidate. Why not have some fun by creating a challenge?
As you can see her plan worked well. Not only did they get to see almost all of the candidates, but they’ve been having a blast doing it.
How did the Presidential Selfie Girls thing become so big?
Let’s face it, this was the perfect storm. The girls got the first selfie and my husband and I posted it online. Seeing the response to it on social media, we set up a hashtag (#Presidentialselfiegirls) and an account for tweeting each picture so that our friends could follow. The New York Times dubbed this the “Selfie Election” and the media started noticing the “Presidential selfie girls.”
Soon after the challenge began though, it was clear that people were learning from what the girls were doing. They started getting comments like: “I had no idea there were so many candidates” and “how is it possible to get so close to the politicians?” The purpose of the challenge morphed from that of just taking and collecting selfies and it became more of a teaching opportunity to let people know about the candidates and what it’s like to live in the First in the Nation Primary State.
They must come from a rich family to be able to attend so many events, right?
Not at all. Welcome to the first in the nation primary where you can literally walk down a street and shake hands with a presidential candidate. Every event the girls attended was free. We haven’t paid for anything (save for that $10 we gave to a 50/50 raffle (we didn’t win.)) You don’t need a lot of money to see the candidates in New Hampshire. What you do need, however, is time (we’ve waited in line for as long as 2 hours for some candidates) and you need the desire to go see them.
What the girls have done this summer could have been done by anyone.
Is the challenge really non-partisan?
Yup. Although Addy has made no secret about the fact that she leans toward the Democrats, she and Emma still go to and listen to each candidate. Both of them learned a very important lesson from Jeb! Bush, when, during his speech, he said: “Just because I don’t agree with you that doesn’t make you a bad person.”
Surprisingly, the girls have discovered that they can find points of agreements with each candidate and within both parties. The final choice will be the candidate with which they most agree.
Ugh, can someone please throw those girls a whitening strip?
Both girls have been treated with long term antibiotics for chronic Lyme disease and its co-infections. (We live in NH, the #1 state for Lyme cases.) Yellowed teeth is a side effect of youth treatment. We could whiten their teeth but the girls are still growing and who knows what kind of damage might be done to the teeth. When they get older, if they choose to whiten their teeth we’ll help them out.
Enough with the nostrils, don’t they know that the best selfie shot is from above?
Emma, the selfie taker, is just north of 5 feet tall. When you are posing next to people who are significantly taller than you (almost everyone), you have to take the photo from a “below angle.” (The only way to get an “above angle” photo would be to use a selfie-stick and that’s not an option in this challenge.)
What do they want to do next?
The girls get asked this all the time and each time they try to answer it, they stumble. This selfie challenge was never intended to be anything more than what it is - a challenge to get a selfie with each of the presidential candidates. When they have completed the challenge, they’d like to get a selfie with President Obama and Vice President Biden and perhaps continue with state and national politicians in New Hampshire, but that’s all up in the air. For now they just want to finish what they had originally set out to do.
As a direct result of this experience, Emma is considering going into broadcasting and media.
In some of their interviews they sure say the word “like” a lot.
Yeah, well, they’re working on that.
What have they learned?
From an educational (and parental) point of view, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience for our daughters. Throughout this challenge they’ve learned:
About national and international events and concerns.
To listen when others speak
To give every candidate a fair shake
Interview and presentation skills
How to ask questions
How to approach and speak with world leaders
Critical thinking skills
How to be young ambassadors for the “selfie election” as well as teachers of what life is like living in New Hampshire during the primaries, and of course,
Seriously? You’re proud of your daughters for taking selfies?
Yeah, I get it. When celebrities are taking and posting selfies of their breasts and butts, I can see how selfies can get a bad rap. But selfies are also the language of the youth. It’s a way for people to document and share their lives *immediately* with their friends. I understand that, which is why I allowed that initial selfie to be taken in the first place. (“Look! I’m at an event with Chris Christie!”)
In their selfies, the girls are dressed nicely, they are respectful, they ask permission, they don’t use a selfie stick and they don’t stick their tongues out. They are simply getting a picture of themselves with a presidential candidate to show their friends and family. Sometimes a selfie is just a selfie.
So who is Addy voting for?
Because this is a non-partisan challenge, Addy will not be announcing who she is going to vote for until the very last selfie has been taken (tentatively Oct 16th with Huckabee, unless he comes to NH earlier.) Although a lot of people are interested in her choice, it’s also a lot of pressure for a first time voter to have to announce to the world who she would choose. I’m leaving the decision up to her. I’m sure she’ll let people know when she is ready.