I remember when the “selfie” first became a thing. I didn’t have an iPhone at the time so my selfie taking abilities were severely limited. But I have since then gotten an iPhone and acquired the necessary confidence to take pictures of myself. But I’m still not a huge fan of selfies. I must admit that I have a handful on my Instagram but they’re all heavily edited, cropped “artistically,” and they don’t look like me.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not good at taking selfies. I’ll take something like 32, then I’ll flip through deleting the ones that I don’t like and realize that I’ve deleted them all when I get to the last five. I swear whenever I take selfies, one of my eyes looks bigger than the other, my mouth suddenly becomes lopsided, and I become aware of every single imperfection that never appeared in the mirror.
The whole reason I wanted to take the selfie in the first place was because (being brutally honest) I wanted the confidence boost we all get when enough people like our photos. Instead my confidence plummets because I can’t get the camera angle correct. And when I finally get one photo that I’m satisfied with (satisfied not pleased) I won’t even tell you how long I play with filters and highlights and contrasts until I’ve exhausted the editing capabilities of Instagram.
I’m not trying to attack girls that take selfies. If you’re good at it and it genuinely makes you feel good to post it, then go for it. Some girls can take stunning selfies, I am just not one of them. But I will never forget the day that one of my friends, unsolicited, told me I was beautiful when I’d just taken a huge (unintended) ego hit that made me think I looked like crap. I didn’t need to spend ages contouring my face. I didn’t need to layer over a bunch of filters and crop my face or stand at the right angle. I didn’t need to state a cute or clever caption. I didn’t need to fish for his compliment.
And I’m not trying to sit here and tell you that I’m this incredibly beautiful person who doesn’t need to even try. I am trying to say that you don’t need to go to great lengths via your iPhone and social media to make people like you. The amount of likes and comments you get does not necessarily correlate with what people actually think of you. Granted, that doesn’t mean you need to think they’re lying when they do like your picture. But that also doesn’t mean you need to feel bad when you see how many likes she got vs how many you got.
It’s ridiculous how much time we spend looking to our screens for affirmation. You are beautiful and you don’t need a bunch of filters to prove that.