I love to take selfies.
There, I said it.
I’m one of those people. The ones who stop while walking down the street, or drinking a drink, or doing whatever random thing I happen to be doing, and if I’m feeling good (ESPECIALLY if I’m feeling good) I will snap a photo of myself.
What’s the big deal? Why all the hate on for selfies? What did a selfie ever do to you?
According to many articles on the internet, selfies are for narcissistic people who are self-absorbed and only want to post photos to boost their own egos. I’m not sure what the alternative is: only allowing other people to take photos of you? Photos that are completely unflattering and will be posted online? To make sure your ego never gets big enough that you feel good about yourself? If this is the case, please make my husband in charge of taking all photographs of me so he can personally choose which pics of me are seen in the public sphere. Because I guarantee I’ll have my eyes half closed or be wearing the worst outfits ever in every single one.
I’ve also seen so much written about the selfie and what it represents, and how we can’t contextualize them or how we can’t yet know the ramifications they might have on younger people and how selfies are practically ruining lives left and right.
First of all- let’s chill, everyone. It’s just a photo.
Second of all, I happen to think selfies are a form of self-love. Especially for women, and most definitely for moms. There was a great article that has been widely shared about getting moms in the picture. Mothers are often behind the camera, taking photos of their babies and families, often feeling not-so-great about ourselves physically. Our postpartum bodies, our faces that show our lack of sleep, our outfits that might fit awkwardly in the sizes we wish we weren’t… It’s no wonder we fear the camera. It goes without saying that we need to show our children that we are confident enough to be photographed, as well as allow our lives as mothers to be represented in photos that will live on forever. But putting ourselves back into the photo on our own terms, without hiding behind our adorable children, and by showing ourselves the way we wish to be seen is a statement of our confidence, our power, and our self-appreciation. And, you can take 10 photos, delete the 9 you don’t like and post the best one every time!
There is so much to be seen in a woman’s selfie. What parts of her are you seeing? How does she want to be looked at? Is she smiling? Introspective? Is she looking away, so you’re simply a spectator or is she looking into the camera, trying to engage you?
I can’t remember exactly when I started taking lots of selfies, but I think it coincided with two events. One was the invention of the front camera on my phone and the other was the fact that I had started using woven wraps to carry my son. In the babywearing world, selfies are everything. You take photos to show off new wraps you bought, to get advice on your technique and to show off your sleeping baby. I probably have about 700 selfies from this stage, all with my son’s little face peeking out from behind me.
But, once he was off my back and running around, it felt weird to continue taking photos of myself. It seemed like there was no point. It was just…me. Doing my normal everyday thing. Was this worth documenting? I wasn’t sure, but I had gotten used to seeing myself in photos. Slightly posed, with my head tilted just so, half smile and *click* there was an image that I felt happy to share with people.
Of course this is worth documenting! Why would me, and my face, be any less interesting now that there wasn’t a child in the photo?
At this point I give no fucks when it comes to selfies. I will stop my friends during a dinner out and have everyone pose for a groupie (that must be the word, right?!). Then, I pass it around so everyone can see themselves and how great they look and how happy we are. I can’t see the harm in that, can you?
It’s almost become a part of my personality, that the people who know and love me have had to accept. Selfies, all the time, everywhere. Because I want to remember these moments: the times when I’m feeling good, when I’ve got a great outfit and look fantastic, when I’m having an amazing day with friends, and when my kids are being adorable and say “let’s take a picture together!”.
So selfie on, everyone. Show people who you are and how you want to be seen. Take photos of the amazing moments you want to remember and have NO shame posting them.