Selfies are signs of narcissism, cockiness, over-involvement in one's own life. Selfies say I'm more important, more beautiful, more interesting than all of you. Selfies say look at me, look at me, see me now, LOOK AT ME NOW.
The articles, the studies, the Buzzfeed best list of fails (insert guffaw here) are all over. Entire blog posts shred the way #selfies are posted, styled, taken. Facebook statuses proclaim hate for the way we're obsessed with ourselves and #selfies are the quintessential welcome sign to AllAboutMeVille.
A quick scroll through my Instagram feed illustrates my love for a good #selfie. A love that is thought out, reflected upon, and aware of context -or lack thereof. I appear blonde, mid-twenties, tattooed, and fond of myself.
Like many things in life, a friend nudged me into selfie-dom. She said, Amber, you show your clothes, they're adorable, but what about your make-up and hair? I chose the path of least resistance and ignored. Then an echo sounded, once, twice, thrice. More friends saying yes, where's your face? Like a dare issued, I posted one. Then another.
Slowly, conservatively, uncomfortably at first. Debating if the appropriate face is a smile, a smirk, or maybe best if I simply look thoughtfully into the distance. Those original selfies were met with encouragement, kindness, compliments. All sweet and completely unexpected.
So in the spirit of positive reinforcement I kept doing it.
And I heard about bold brows, butt chins, lion hair. I heard it was beautiful. Not because it's trendy, but because it made up me. And suddenly, selfies weren't about Instagram or double taps or what I'm wearing anymore. Instead they became about loving my hair in waves, pride in my pearly whites, an appreciation for the cleft in my chin.
I've snapped and posted a selfie or two (sometimes three if I'm being indulgent) a week. Mostly smiling, sometimes sassy, never duck-lipped, usually featuring my hairstyle and necklace. I've found them to be empowering, challenging, and honest. Days where I'm feeling chubby or unhappy, where I want to boo hoo on myself and be frustrated over my diet are changed with a drop of TimerCam and a drip of sassy face.
Originally the validation that came from others turned into an inner confidence that happens offline and in real life (though this girl loves a great compliment). My fear of haters stunted my first shots, but in gaining an appreciation for the features that make up me, I've realized selfies are about me, not them.
More confident in front of a camera, fond of my defining features, unafraid of imperfections. Yes, selfie, yes. At the price of being labeled narcissistic, cocky, self-involved? Still, yes.
Post Script: I use VSCOcam as my photoeditor. And I'm shameless about hashtags.
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The perfect end for such an self-loving post is a shameless selfie sharing a gift you deserve to give yourself.#IWYP shirt for the month... Of course, I adore it. Get it while you can babes because this one is a LOVE.