Now I think some of you are already clicking off. Because look, there’s ‘selfie in the title’ but give me a second, give me a moment and maybe I’ll give you something to think about.
I have been having a lot of mental blocks and body-related issues. Putting aside what you think about my weight and such the fact of the matter is, I have been hurting myself (mentally, physiologically etc) because of how I view myself and my mentality and it’s a problem.
To kind of outline how I’ve been feeling here’s an entry to my daily journal:
And the above comes down to a few things:
Feeling disgusting and tired of the way I look
Being stressed about schooling
Being stressed but not about how empty and apathetic I’m feeling towards my schooling right now.
Other things that just weight on my because of family and other ‘normal’ issues.
But the fact remains that it has been a really crappy few weeks. (almost a month)
It came to a peak yesterday when a young man decided to intimidate me in a bus station. I was walking towards my bus and this young man approached walking the opposite way. He was very tall (but I’m 5’1/5’2 so it is feasible that I just thought that) and leant in close enough that I flinched back.
Why? Because he leant in, grinned and said ‘Smile Baby” before laughing and walking away.
Now I was not comfortable with this, I was super nervous all the 15 minutes I was waiting for my bus, and felt awful the rest of the evening. So I was harassed, it was not nice. He does not deserve to see my smile, nor is it his business if I smile in public or not.
But, following this experience and with the bubbling awfulness of my mental state came these images:
Now, disclaimer yes there are filters on these images to do some colour correction and yes obviously I am wearing light make-up (blush, eyeliner, mascara and some bomb af lipstick) but the point is: after all this self-loathing and uncomfortableness came selfies.
There are many more on my phone but these are two of my favourite from the night.
So here’s the thought.
I am not the most ‘traditionally beautiful’ young woman out there. I am v pudgy, I am brown-eyed and brown-haired, i am short; i have thick thighs, and wide hips; i am fat instead. Not traditionally beautiful.
And it’s never really bothered me, not really. It adds to my crippling body-image confidence, but I just thought I will never see someone like me because no one wants to be like me.
But, then I put on my favouirte make-up, my favourite plaid and I thought about how I felt. How I didn’t FEEL disgusting, unhealthy, or ugly. I felt pretty good. I felt like that young man had no right to see my smile, or when I’m feeling great. my friends and my future partner does, but everyone else? Nah not really.
So I took selfies, feeling better and better with each shot. Taking an hour to do the filters and finding the angles and colours I wanted, made me feel even better.
And so here’s my thought.
Selfie culture could be bad, selfish, promote a generation of young people who are vain…but we’ve been raised that way already. We are surrounded by images that demand a certain type of look for men and women, demand a certain dream a certain career and education level. We already are the generation that have been told to be vain. But selfies? Selfies are different.
Selfies are of self, of real self, of inner beauty. Selfies are posted and posed for self-desire. For likes (because the self wants it). For colour schemes for great profiles. Because I want it.
This is not an add where a naked man or woman who is ‘filtered’ to be unrecognizable is forced into my face and makes me see what I’ll never be.
My selfie is in a very real way, celebrating my beauty and how I feel and what I feel is beautiful. It is my clothes, my make-up my posing and my filters.
Selfies in a way are actually promoting the opposite of what people think. It’s promoting a range of selfless, united young people. Selfies are uncensored, un ‘filtered’. If a selfie is posted it will be seen, a company isn’t going to X it. I can see all kinds of bodies. I can see all kinds of confidence levels.
Selfie culture lets you see the world and feel better.
I’m going to finish this thought with this picture. It’s my latest entry to my daily journal. I feel so much better after the selfies (which OMFg are so popular on insta and fb) and after drawing and especially after drawing this page.
It is said that selfie culture promotes vain, selfish youth. It’s a bad trend. However I disagree. I say selfie-culture is the opposite, its a reaction to the poisonous-image the media portrays. It’s a rebellion against what the media says we should look like. It’s solidarity and the celebration of difference.