Don’t you just love it how you grow up being told to love yourself, and once you finally do, they’re like “wait, no, not like that”?
It’s a frustrating life-long battle with how you feel about yourself vs. how society wants you to express how you feel about yourself that all comes to a head, right now, with “selfies”.
Yeah, selfies. I don’t like the word either, but it is what it is. And what it is, is a picture of yourself, typically followed by being posted online, whether on a social media account, or in an album. I’ve never been able to tell whether the visceral reaction to “selfies” is because the word is so simplistically stupid, or if it runs deeper– all the way back down to that whole “love yourself- WAIT, STOP. NOT LIKE THAT” bullshit I mentioned above.
There was a long while that I avoided posting “selfies” of myself online at all. I won’t dance around the fact that I absolutely have self esteem issues, and although 99% of the time I consider myself to have zero fucks to give other peoples opinions on how I look, how I dress, what color my hair is, getting negative comments on your photos is never what I’d call “fun”.
People made fun of my “obsession” with my hair, one lady called me a “conceited cunt” and insisted I needed to be “brought down” (I still can’t figure that one out), and you just kind of get to the point where you pause before posting and wonder- okay, who’s going to be shitting on my photo this time? Who’s going to be sitting behind their computer or phone rolling their eyes and mumbling that I’m an attention whore?
Posting a selfie because less of not feeling good about myself, and more wanting to avoid the drama, which made me feel bad about myself, and I know I’m not the only one.
Of course, stupid shit like this doesn’t help:
So… because someone posts photos of themselves, they don’t read? Or they must read because they post selfies? OH WAIT. I GET IT. YOU’RE LOOSELY IMPLYING THAT PEOPLE WHO POST SELFIES ARE STUPID.
I don’t need to say this- but I write books. I read books. Writing and reading are part of my job. I am not the smartest person you’ll ever meet, but I’m not a moron– and I don’t lose brain cells every time I post a selfie. It also doesn’t mean I’m vain, conceited, narcissistic, or have a mental illness (yes, these are all things I’ve read, because, OH, wouldn’t you know it, I read!)
It may sound like I’m mad, but I’m not, I’m just frustrated and exhausted by all the assumptions, stipulations, and judgment placed on all of us over absolutely everything. From how we talk, to how we dress, to how we parent, to what we do for work and their perception of how well we do it, or how “important” it is, all the way down to a stupid selfie.
The “too easy” thing to do would be to tell you to give zero fucks. Stop caring what people think. But we all know it’s never that simple, so I’ll appeal to everyone in a different way.
What it takes to post a selfie online these days, KNOWING there’s going to be someone who may either talk shit, complain, or mumble shit under their breath, assume you’re an attention whore, fishing for attention (again, all things I’ve read before), are balls. Beach-ball sized lady nuts (or just nuts, for the dudes selfie-ing out there). It means you were feeling confident enough to say “screw what anyone might say” and post it anyway, and that’s. fucking. awesome. IT IS AWESOME. Confidence isn’t always easy to come by in the day of digital media where everyone seems to look perfect, so if you’re feeling yourself enough to put yourself out there- you are amazing. Instead of shitting on each other, we should be building each other up. Fostering that kind of confidence, for adults and for young people, so they can grow that confidence as they age and actually grow to the point where they can be themselves without actually giving a fuck, without second guessing. That’s where we all should be, and it is possible to get there, if only we could stop shitting on one another.
Feeling yourself? Post a selfie. Just finished a kick ass work out? Go ahead, selfie it up. No makeup, don’t care? Go for it, more power to you. Feeling awesome about your outfit? Show it off. Go somewhere awesome? Share it! Do something fun? Take a picture! Just because you feel like it? Why not?
Cheer each other on. Lift each other up. Kindness is FREE. Sprinkle that shit everywhere. And post your damn selfie. I’ll be here hitting the like button.
Just did this yesterday and it was everything 9 year old me could have dreamed of pic.twitter.com/imYQlUmSVn
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