not so narcissistic
Selfies are underrated.
No; wait. Let me elaborate.
It's not so much the taking of selfies that is underrated. Rather, it's the sharing of selfies online.
I mean, we all take selfies. My mum is a middle- aged Asian woman, and even she takes selfies with her smart phone. She doesn't upload them onto cyberspace or show them to strangers, though. No, that takes guts.
Selfies cop such a bad rap, though. I blame it on that song The Chainsmokers released in 2014 - "#SELFIE". Every second lyric was, "But first, lemme take a selfie." The irritatingly repetitive nature of the song had me changing the radio station every single time it aired. It was so annoying that I think I just ended up associating the act of taking selfies as equally annoying, too.
There are, of course, annoying selfies. Some people feel the need to take a picture of themselves drinking their breakfast smoothie every morning. It's like the visual equivalent to the Facebook status, "Checking in.. At the gym." Way to go, guys. Way to make me feel bad about eating an entire raw cake for breakfast and not having exercised in ten days. Thanks for that. Cheers.
Now I'm being mean. I don't mean to be. You know what I mean.
(Oh, my God. You do know what I mean, right? .. RIGHT?!)
Anyway, suffice to say, I was wrong for putting all selfies into the "annoying" basket.
If you read my last blog post, you'll know that, until recently, I never really had to worry about the taking or posting- online of selfies. All I did was photograph food, so it didn't matter what I looked like.
But, now that I'm trying to look at things other than my smashed avocado on gluten- free toast - now that I'm trying to document more of my life; more of myself - I'm starting to realise that, for the most part, it takes a lot of courage to take a selfie and then show it somebody else.
I've dated my boyfriend for almost four years (it'll be four years this Friday - WOOHOO! Go us, babe!) and I still don't show him every selfie that I take*. Oh, I take them alright. I just don't show them to anyone. Nope, not even my puppy. Hell. No.
But why? Why haven't I conquered the whole "Oh, haiii. So, this is what I look like!" thing? Why can't I do what SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE manage to do, and just show my face to the digital world?
I guess it all comes down to fear. Fear of judgement, mostly. Fear that, although I'm not actually seeking validation, at the end of the day, I'll end up correlating the number of likes and comments on a picture of my mug with just how aesthetically appealing I am (or am not). It's as though some part of my brain will think, Number of likes + number of comments = How attractive I am, on a scale of not- at- all, to Victoria's Secret model material.
Can you tell I like math?
It's stupid, really. I know for A FACT that I don't decide whether or not I like a person based on their selfie. I'm actually super indifferent when it comes to other people's selfies (unless they repeatedly take photos of themselves with their breakfast smoothie, obvs). The most emotion I feel is when I see someone with amazing eyebrows or eye make- up. In that case, I inspect their selfie verrry closely so that I can hopefully absorb some of their winged eyeliner skillz.
So, given my indifference to other people's selfies, it's kind of ridiculous that I should think that others will judge me based on pictures I might share of myself. They're probably not. And you know what, even if they are, to echo the sentiments of my last blog post: SO WHAT?
This epiphany has helped me summon the courage to recently share a few pictures of myself online. Instead of thinking, "I wonder what everybody will think", I've adopted the attitude, "So, this is me!" and it's been really liberating.
I've come to the realisation that, despite what the lyrics in The Chainsmokers' "#SELFIE" want us to believe, selfies aren't always narcissistic. They're not always an attempt to seek validation or a means to fish for compliments. Sometimes, they're taken and shared by people who simply don't give a fudge what other people think; people who are confident; people who know that nobody - themselves included - is perfect, and that that's completely okay.
So you know what? Good on them. Kudos to those of you who've never thought to question whether or not you should upload a selfie. I've obviously wasted too much of my time over- analysing the whole thing. I'm going to take a leaf out of your book and start doing the same.
Oh, and don't worry. I won't take too many photos of myself with my breakfast smoothie, I promise.
* Edit: My boyfriend proof- read this article and immediately asked to see the mysterious selfies I've been taking. Whoops. That'll be the last time I ask him to proof- read a blog post! Hehe.