Opinions

Distasteful photos to be taken all over the globe

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and ABC News. Edit: Marta Kierkus

A University of Ottawa student is attempting to break the world record for taking the greatest number of offensive selfies in the shortest amount of time.

Eric Burgess, a third-year communication and political science student, will take on the challenge starting Nov. 1 with a goal of 50 inappropriate selfies over a 25-day period.

Nicolette Joubert of Marseille, France currently holds the record. In September 2013, she travelled to five continents and successfully took 47 distasteful pictures of herself within a span of 31 days. Included in this collection were pictures of her sporting a duck face pose while visiting the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. and the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland.

Joubert’s repertoire also consists of selfies taken closer to home, where she holds up deuces against an urn containing her late grandmother’s ashes and a homeless man sleeping on the street in downtown Paris.

When the Tomato reached out to her for comment on the emergence of this new potential record holder, all Joubert had to say was to wish him “good luck.”

In an exclusive interview, Burgess revealed his motivation for trying to beat the record.

“I heard about Nicolette’s plan on the news and was inspired,” he said. “I knew it would be a huge undertaking, but I want to be able to say I hold a world record. I mean, talk about a resumé booster.”

As for how he plans to fund this international trip, Burgess informed the Tomato that he has the finances covered.

“A few months ago I set up a gofundme account, and the support has been overwhelming. I guess people really love seeing duck face framed against a backdrop of human tragedy. Plus, I’ve got about $1,700 saved from OSAP loans, which is sweet.”

Burgess also intends to get creative with his selfies.

“A lot has happened since Nicolette set the record last year. My ultimate goal is to get a picture with an Ebola victim. All I need is a hazmat suit.”

Chris Hackman, a spokesperson for the Guinness Book of World Records, explained the logistics of setting this record.

“Two of our representatives will travel with Mr. Burgess and watch him take his selfies. They are responsible for evaluating whether the pictures he takes are indeed offensive,” Hackman said. “If a particular selfie is found to violate all boundaries of human decency, then it will be added to the official list.”

The local Apple Store has even decided to donate a brand new iPhone 6 to Burgess so that he can “take selfies of the highest quality,” according to store manager Ian Blakely.

“We are very proud to sponsor Eric and wish him the best on this journey. Hopefully with the new iPhone’s retooled burst selfie mode, this brave young man won’t miss a single moment of his journey of narcissistic self-discovery.”