In Defense of Selfies
I've seen so many posts complaining about people taking and posting selfies lately. Often the word "narcissictic" is used. Sure there are narcissists out there. But I think we're at a point where a healthy self-esteem, body confidence, believing in ourselves is so rare that it's viewed as narccisistic when it should be seen as normal.
Here are some negative things often said about selfies:
"You must think you look good" -snarky tone implied.
Yes. Yes I do. I might think my hair looks good that day, or my lipstick is pretty, or my body has had some positive changes from exercise, or I just woke up that morning and thought- "Damn. I look hot," Here's the thing. There is so much push for body positivity, loving who you are, thinking you are beautiful. But the moment you actually start to believe that, come to terms with the amazing body you live in, accept any "flaws" as unique features to celebrate, decide that you are, in fact, beautiful- everyone will jump all over you. You're supposed to feel like you're beautiful- but not really. Only up to a certain point. Screw that. It's so difficult to hold on to these moments of feeling comfortable in your skin, it's a great idea to take a photo of yourself when you do feel beautiful. On the days that we all have, where we're feeling uncomfortable with our appearance, it's wonderful to go back and look at the times when you did feel beautiful, to recapture that state of mind. I want to see all of my friends beaming because they feel beautiful. I can't think of anything more wonderful to fill my social media feed. And if you don't want to see your friend's happy moments? It makes me wonder what kind of friend you are. And if you're "friends" with a bunch of people who aren't your friends who you don't want to see, there is this amazing feature called the "unfriend" or "unfollow" button. Works wonders.
"Your relationship can't be as good as you make it look."
The moments that I take the photos that I post of us? It is that freaking good. It really is. But yes, there are ups and downs. In fact, there are some really horrible times, just like in any relationship. When we're screaming at each other I obviously don't hold my phone up and say- "let's take a selfie!" I don't need to. Those moments are vivid in my mind. It can take 100 amazing moments to make up for one bad one sometimes. We don't need a visual reminder of the bad times. Our brains do that all too well for us. But when times are bad, I can look through all those selfies of Tyler and I together, see the love in his eyes, see us smiling at each other, and I can instantly have a hundred moments to help defuse the trauma of a bad day. I like using hashtags for that purpose on Instagram, so I can easily find a bunch of photos of us together being happy when things aren't so happy. Go ahead, look up the hashtag #cindylovestyler on Instagram and bask in the cuteness.
"You're just posting that as an excuse to show off your boobs."
Well, yeah. Because boobs are awesome. Why the hell wouldn't I?
"You're just fishing for attention."
This is a good one. Post a happy feel-good selfie, you're being arrogant. Post a sad one, you're fishing for attention. You know what? I am. And that is healthy. What better use for social media than to be able to tell a friend- I see you're sad. I'm here for you. What can I do? And for friends to be able to tell you the same thing. Sometimes something as simple as someone saying "you're not alone" can be all someone having a really hard day needs. Yes, I get sad. Really sad sometimes. Posting a photo reminds me of the sad times, but looking back on those I can see how much I've overcome, and see the wonderful words of the people who support me. I can look at them and think- "I've got this. I've been here before. And I made it through."
"You think you're better than everyone else."
This is where I fight back. Hell no, I don't. If I did, that would be cause for you to call me arrogant. But I think for the vast majority of people, that simply is not true. I think these thoughts come from a place of insecurity, a place of buying into the hype that a certain body type, a certain type of relationship, a certain type of family, is required to feel great about yourself. There isn't a pie chart of self-esteem, that if I feel great about myself, I am taking anything away from you. Life doesn't work that way. I am amazing, I am beautiful in my own way. You are beautiful and amazing in your own way too. Humans seem to be hard-wired to reject anything they don't understand. And if you have not found your way to loving yourself, it might be hard for you to see someone who has found that in themself. If you feel uncomfortable when you see someone with a healthy self-esteem, I encourage you to let go of your feelings of inadequacy and embrace how freaking awesome you are, just as you are.
Thanks to selfies, I am actually in photos with my kids, with my husband. For years there were little to no photos of me, since I was always the one grabbing my camera. I would come back from a vacation with no record of me even being there. Photos are a huge memory trigger for me, perhaps that's why I love them so much. I have ADD and it does weird things to my memory. Seeing a photo of myself is the best way for me to remember the emotions I was feeling at that time. I don't ever want to forget the amazing moments I spend with my kids, and I want to have a record of those moments for them to look back on as they grow.
It is never arrogant for someone to think they are amazing, beautiful, love their life. It is only arrogant when it becomes- "I'm more (fill in the blank) than you." We all can uplift and inspire each other to become comfortable in our skin and celebrate the bodies and the minds and the lives that we get for a short time on this earth. If someone posts a lot of selfies and you really don't like it? Unfollow them. It's simple If someone says mean things on the selfies you post? Unfollow, unfriend, or even block as you need to. We are not under any obligation to keep assholes in our online lives, you are welcome to make your online presence your little happy bubble and escape from negativity.