People love to give selfie-takers a hard time. Why do they care so much? I love taking selfies — they bring a lot of joy and love into my life. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, so whether you “like” them or not, you’ll have to get over it.
Selfies are a way to practice self-love. Taking loving pictures of myself is a great way to practice being kind, loving, and validating. One of my favorite body positive authors, Lauren Marie Fleming, wrote, “We degrade narcissism in our society, but I think we should embrace it. Narcissus fell in love with his image reflected in a pool. Doesn’t that sound wonderful, to be able to look at your image and fall in love, instead of tear yourself apart?” I say take that selfie. Make those duck lips, show off your tongue piercing, do all of the things you’re “not supposed to do.”
Selfies can be super fun. I can usually be found laughing to myself while taking selfies. I adjust my makeup, outfit, and choose a fun place to take them. Sometimes I lay on the floor and use the self-timer. I make the selfie session into a whole experience, almost like a date with myself.
Life is too short. I saw a quote by an unknown author that said, “You either like me or you don’t. It took me twenty-something years to learn how to love myself. I don’t have that kind of time to convince someone else.” If you have enough love for yourself that you can take a loving picture, don’t lose that because someone else thinks you’re being vain.
People have been taking self-portraits for literally hundreds of years. Wealthy kings and queens enlisted artists to paint their faces and bodies on giant canvases in the 18th century. The motive of these paintings was driven by the desire of the monarchs to control what others saw and thought of them; not much different from many of our motives on modern-day social media.
Selfies are a creative expression. A selfie session can be a creative endeavor if I make it so! While taking pictures, I experiment with lighting and different angles. When I’m ready to upload my masterpiece to social media, I scroll through the filters, finding the perfect one. Perhaps I even add cute stickers or drawings.
It makes me get some sunlight (aka vitamin D). Natural lighting is great for proper selfie taking; the sunlight paints my skin and my blue eyes are lightened. Aside from brightening my face to be even lovelier than it is while inside, I’m getting a dose of vitamin D from exposure to the sun.
I show off my amazing sense of style. I can toot my own horn here — I’m a fashionista. Thrifting is my jam and I am totally willing to mix and match weird colors, patterns, and accessories. I find so much joy in putting together an eclectic outfit. I get a ton of compliments in person, so sometimes I also want to show off my artistic masterpiece to my online network! I’ve even made a community of friends on Instagram who like the same fashion trends that I do. If I didn’t upload my selfie in my pinup dress, I likely wouldn’t have connected with them!
I can capture moments with friends, family, or pets. Few things in my life are as important to me as people and my furry friends. I love to have a phone’s photo album filled with pictures of my cat, especially ones where I’m taking a selfie of the two of us together. A selfie with friends captures the energy of that moment to keep for the rest of our lives. And lastly, have you ever been at a family Christmas party with a selfie stick? It’s quite hilarious watching an older aunt attempt to operate the thing.
Selfies aid me in embracing radical body acceptance. Do you ever get tired of being inundated with messages about not being good enough? Society tells women to shrink their bodies, minds, and voices. Take up less space. Be skinny. Be fit. The critical messages are endless. Selfies are a way for me to take back my power and say, “Actually, I’m good enough just as I am, thank you very much.” Selfies and the body acceptance community have aided me in embracing the beautifully imperfect human I am.
They’re a reminder to not take myself so seriously. Why do people get their panties all in a bunch, anyway? Who really cares if I’m taking a picture of myself or not? Selfies help me practice not caring what other people think of me. They’re a reminder to not take myself so seriously. I’m a total goofball in real life, so I have fun making silly faces or even trying on other expressions in pictures. The only limits are the ones we set for ourselves.
I can share experiences and things with my friends in an instant. Technology connects me to my loved ones who are literally all over the globe. In just an instant, I can show all of my network the lovely new tattoo I got. Refinery29 even featured one of my recent selfies on their Snapchat story, showing off my middle finger femme tattoo. Take that, haters!
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