In Defense of the Selfie

Apparently this article needs to make the rounds again.  

OK, so another day, another “selfies are the worst” post on social media.  This is in addition to the “all selfie sticks should be banned, banned I say!” post.  I just don’t get it.

I post selfies all the time.  Outfit of the Day selfies, look at my new dress selfies, about to go do a thing at a place selfie, cosplay selfies, selfies with my kid, selfies with my friends, tons of them.  My inspiration for each type of selfie is different, but there is a thread of self-confidence and self-care that runs through each of the reasons for posting a selfie.  A selfie is almost always a joyous expression of your life.  Here I am with my kid!  Here I am celebrating with my friends!  I got to go to this cool thing!  I’m happy! I like myself!  So where does the hate come from?

We get bombarded with messages all day every day about how to make yourself better.  Improve your appearance with our fabulous product!  Buy our thing that makes you look thinner! You see it long enough, you begin to believe that you are in constant need of improving oneself, so who do you think you are taking selfies, you chud?  People get to feeling this way about themselves and see someone that loves to post selfies all the time, and negative feelings surface.  Misery loves company.

I used to be in the camp that didn’t get the whole selfie thing.  I was also the saddest I had ever been in my life.  Things changed for me.  I began to take care of myself and really break old habits for good.  No more looking in the mirror and criticizing myself.  No more diverting a compliment away from myself.  I just accept a compliment now.  Women in particular are so bad about this.  You see, my daughter is getting older, and I have to set the example for her.  I cannot allow her to begin these damaging habits as she enters her teen years.  Something happened to me that broke the old habits and started a whole new habit of selfie-ing.

Nerdvember happened.  What the heck is that, you ask?  The website settostunning.com has a contest every November wherein you post a selfie a day in a nerdy outfit.  Each selfie enters you in a contest to win some kick-ass clothes.  It is not only a challenge to find a different nerd themed outfit a day for an entire month, but you get real used to seeing yourself posted on social media when you do it day after day.  I started to see the positive comments from my Instagram followers.  I chose to accept the compliments.  They kept rolling in.  I got to the point where I could actually compliment myself. No more negative talk about myself allowed. Check out settostunning.com for tons of great fashion news, tips and DIY projects!

What is the result of this?  Well, I get up in the morning and dress for the day without self-doubt or criticism.  I’m confident, which I swear makes me look even better.  Dropping all that negativity also makes you happier.  Nice to not drag that self-critical baggage around.

The selfies I post lead to more compliments, which lead to more confidence, which leads to a happier self, and so on.  My daughter sees all of this.  I overhear her friends already worrying about their appearances.  They are nine and ten years of age.  Scary.  My kid, on the other hand, ventures forth with confidence and self-care.

Whenever I see a friend has posted a selfie, my first thought is, “Well, good for them!”  and usually, “They look amazing!”  I know they are practicing self-care and self-love.  It’s a great thing to see.  Gives me a confidence boost as well.

So next time you see a selfie, maybe take a different look at it.  Think of where is comes from and maybe you can come from that same place as well.  You’ve got the ability.  Your friends are waiting to see that moment of joy from you.  Let them see it.

Love, Kim and Scout

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