Monday, September 22, 2014

in defense of the selfie




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.

Maybe the haters need to try it out for themselves, maybe they're struggling through bad days just like the rest of us, maybe we're just stupid for feeling different after a pretty, self-taken head shot. If such shots aren't for you (or your double tap), just scroll on and take a stab at keeping your opinions to your self(ie).

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. 
That's right, this shirt all kinds of adorable, comfy, and so summer friendly (especially for those of us still stuck in hot, humid summer weather) is the new #IWYP shirt for the month... Of course, I adore it. Get it while you can babes because this one is a LOVE.

31 comments:

  1. Love this. Love every little thing about it. And THANK YOU for the reminder that I need to buy this shirt NOW.

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  2. i like your face. so selfie on.

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  3. Agreed.
    Well said Amber.


    I think it's high time that instagram/facebook/social media outlets are a place of encouragement and not judging. If we can encourage each other with a "hey girl...lookin hot!" than by all means...that's awesome.
    I know some days those words help me get up and out of the house way better than none at all.
    Thanks for posting!

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  4. I'm thinking a secondary post is needed on the dynamics of taking a selfie. Consider it Selfie 101. And you need to teach it.

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  5. you were my inspiration for my first #ootd selfie, which led to my pregnancy selfies which i treasure, so thank you!

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  6. This was awesome! While social media (and sharing "yourself") is scary, it's also, as you said, very empowering.

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  7. I don't mind being in front of the camera at all--but I prefer someone else taking the photo, because it's the action of taking photos that I don't like, so I don't actually take selfies, though I appear in many photos taken by others!

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  8. Your selfies are some of my favorites, never stop!

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  9. I definitely have NOT mastered the art of the selfie. At all. That being said, I love other peoples' selfies, yours included!

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  10. Okay I gotta ask: how are you taking these awesome (and quite level) selfies? Timer? Yes, some people think it narcissistic, however when your kids look back at all the pics in the future, your selfies tell the tale of YOU, growing and changing every day. Snap on!!

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  11. Yes and yes. Selfie it up, my friend.

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  12. I love this!!!! I'm don't think there's anything wrong with the selfie! And yours look GREAT! I don't know how you capture the image so well but you are awesome!

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  13. Most.gorgeous.selfies.ever. Wish I could rock the selfie like you do! x

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  14. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvSeptember 24, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Rock that confidence! I'm still a little weary - so I usually take selfies with my pup!

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  15. YES. SO MANY HEART EYES RIGHT NOW. I live to see selfies. I love that my friends are fond of the way they look or feel good about themselves in that moment and decide to share. I love it.

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  16. Your confidence is so awesome + inspiring to me! I'm afraid of selfies for the most part, but this post has me thinking again :)

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  17. I've already worn the shirt twice and I've had it less than a week... Either that says something about my hygiene or about the greatness of the shirt. I'm going to lean on that it's something to do with the shirt. :)

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  18. i was wondering how much shitler charged for lessons because he is SO MUCH BETTER than me.

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  19. YES. Absolutely this. It's certainly such a simple way to encourage and spur on one another.... Or to hate. I remember someone saying that it's our choice to use technology for good or bad and, at the time, that seemed so obvious, but I realize that it isn't, that it IS about the choice, constantly about choosing.

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  20. yesssssssss. it was so fun to see the way you changed and yet how you looked so much the same throughout your pregnancy. :)

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  21. Isn't it funny how we have certain preferences? I never, ever thought I'd be posting selfies, EVER, but now that I do I realize that they make me feel beautiful and powerful in a way that I didn't realize before... So, selfie on! :)

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  22. YES. Getting online and saying or doing ANYTHING can feel SO daunting, but, in the end, more than daunting it's extremely rewarding. Or so I say! :)

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  23. Totally timer. And I take as many pictures as it takes for me to feel like yes, that's the one. Sometimes it's the first frame, sometimes it takes a dozen. Either way, I have realized there are different poses/head tilts that are better looking than others so I use those selfie or not! :)

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  24. Oh Susannah thank you! :) There was definitely a big trial and error period but once I found what worked I have tried to stick with those approaches/angles. :)

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  25. Ummmm if anyone can it's you and your beautiful soul. But I might be biased. :)

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  26. Pup selfies are my favorite because who DOESN'T love a smily person and their even happier pup. (Maybe I'm just biased because I'm such a dog person... But we'll pretend I'm not.)

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  27. And that is why I love you right back. Thanks my sweet friend, missing you from across the seas x

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