I’ve kind of been kicking this blog post around in my head for a while, and since I have a minute it’s time to just throw this out to the universe and see where it sticks. Some people will roll their eyes, I’m sure, but some will probably nod along and get where I’m coming from. Yay those people.
I’m a fan of the selfie. And not just the dolled-up and pretty ones. All the selfies. (Almost all.)
This love does not include people in their underoos in the bathroom mirror selfies. With a few exceptions, people should just say no to being naked-ish on the internet, no matter what age they are. Also, just say no to duckface and flashing the peace sign unless you’re doing it in an ironic way. Then you might get a pass.
Lots of people aren’t fans of selfies and see them as self-indulgent. That’s cool. There’s room on the internet for all of us which is one of the super awesome things about the online world.
Want to know why I’m a fan of the selfie? Because we deserve to be documented, even if we take the photos and never share them. It’s okay to take pictures of yourself just because you want to take them.
When I was pregnant with Joshua, I spent approximately 28 weeks feeling like an ugly, bloated whale. I took belly shots to document the pregnancy, but they were belly only. And then my belly got too big for me to hold out the camera and take them of myself. I had to enlist Dan’s help.
I was self-conscious 1) because I was asking someone to take a picture of me while I stood in front of a bathroom wall just so I could document my growing middle and 2) I didn’t feel attractive at all.
One day I woke up and got dressed for work and thought “wow. I feel really pretty today.” And I snapped a picture. I vowed that morning that for the duration of my pregnancy, I would take a picture if I felt pretty while still taking the belly pictures on the same day each week, the “turn” day, even if I wasn’t made up or feeling spectacular. (So many pictures of that pregnancy. Poor neglected second child Emma has…not so many.) I’m really glad I have all of those pictures to help me remember being pregnant with him.
The world certainly judges us by our appearance, but many of us judge ourselves more harshly. We’re our own worst critics.
We’re bombarded by advertisements of women whose final images look nothing like real people. We’re constantly scrutinizing every aspect of ourselves in the mirror and in photos. My hair is out of place here. My eyes are uneven. My arm looks fat!
Delete delete delete! Ugh! Negative talk!
Guys. Imperfections are real life. Those less than fantastic pictures are who we are. (Unless you actually ARE perfect, in which case you’re getting a side-eye from me.)
I’m not writing this post to be all Rah Rah Stretch Marks CELEBRATE THEM! I’m just saying we don’t look our best every minute of every day so it’s totally okay for all of us to stop expecting that we should and portraying a sense of false perfection to the rest of the world. We can’t all airbrush ourselves to the hilt like we’re gracing the cover of a magazine, nor should we, really.
It’s okay to embrace our imperfections. It’s okay to accept (and even share) our less than glamourous moments. (Just no un-glamorous moments involving poop, okay? That should go without saying, but still. No poop.)
When our kids look back on their childhoods someday in the future, their memories of us won’t be the ones where we’re dressed to the nines and looking our best. Their memories will be of the every day and there should be photos of that.
Pictures are forever, you know? They are records of our history and we can’t always afford to have professional photographers following us around to document the every day.
Selfies, especially selfies with our kids, are sufficient reminders of a time gone by, even when we don’t look our best.
But it’s still okay to take them in the times when we do. I’m an equal opportunity selfie-lover, remember?
When I look my best, I take a photo of it. I don’t alway share it, but I want the visual proof that there are moments where I like what I see in the mirror. Feeling like I look great gives me confidence, and I don’t think it’s shallow to admit that.
So take your selfies. Share some of them. Keep some for yourself and your family. Document your life and the moments you want to remember, but document the ones you don’t, too. They might turn out to be just as important someday.