Tuesday, 18 October 2016

In Defence Of The Selfie

We undoubtedly live in the age of the selfie. Even a few years ago, "selfie" wasn't even a word and we would cringe with embarrassment if we saw someone who dared take a photo of themselves on their 10 megapixel phone camera. Nowadays the story couldn't be more different. Virtually everyone on the planet has had a selfie as profile pic at least a few times and I know that 60% of my photos on my phone are either selfies or "selfie trials" - you know those ones where you take a thousand photos of yourself until you find that perfect one? Yup, we all do it! However, despite selfies becoming the norm, they have gotten quite a bad press. People turn their noses up at those of us who take multiple selfies, they give us strange looks when we're out and about, they post Facebook statuses calling us vain or saying we can't possibly be enjoying our holiday if we're busy taking selfies. Well I've got some news for you - I think selfies are great.

So one of the main "criticisms" of selfies that I see is that if we're taking so many selfies (and photos too I sometimes see!) we can't possibly be enjoying ourselves. I mean, surely no one on this planet knows how to operate their camera on their phone without making a sacrifice to the fun gods and pledging not to enjoy their day, holiday or whatever else it may be. *eye rolls*. I take selfies wherever I go whether it's of me and my friends, boyfriend or just me. I've taken selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower, at the Pyramids of Giza, lying in bed in my own house and out walking the dog and you know what? Those selfies let me remember what fun I had on that day or how it felt standing in that very spot and even if it did mean I didn't have fun for 10 seconds of my day, why are people so bloody bothered about it, enough so that they post snide comments on social media that aren't so subtly aimed at you? It's exactly the same when it comes to wearing make-up on holiday or to the gym. If I want to wear a face full of make-up while I'm lying around the pool or while I'm sitting on the couch in my pyjamas then I bloody well will and guess what? I'll take a selfie while I'm doing it too.

Secondly, if we take too many selfies or pose too much or take the "wrong" kind of selfie, we have all sorts of indirects aimed at us. Vain, conceited, stuck up, self-obsessed or, my personal favourite, "who does she think she is?" Granted, I think most of us are very supportive of one another online but there are always the few who try to tarnish it and ruin our confidence because for me, that's what selfies are about. My confidence has grown immensely over the past few years and I always feel great when I take a selfie and think "yeah, I like how I look in that" as opposed to when I used to think "I hate how I look today". There's no feeling like having so many banging photos in the selfie bank that you're not sure which one to post on Insta (oh the decisions!) and I just think that when it comes to confidence and being happy with how we look, social media is so so so hypocritical. The same people who share inspirational quotes telling us to love ourselves are the ones who are calling us narcissists for doing exactly that and it seems that those building us up in a general sense are unwilling to do so on a personal level. It's not okay. I get that it's easy to look at someone's absolutely stunning photo and feel like a potato but I think it's time we realised that just because someone else looks beautiful, that doesn't mean you don't too.

Of course, there is the problem of things like FaceTune and over-photoshopping but really I don't think that happens on the most part. We're all guilty of standing in the best light and adding the best filter and although there are certain celebrities creating unrealistic ideals with their photoshopping apps (which is totally not okay imo), there is nothing wrong with us loving ourselves enough to take selfies. Maybe if we spent the time we use criticising people for being "vain" working on our own confidence, the world and the internet would be a much nicer place.

What do you think of the "selfie"?

Amy x
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