Stop Selfie Shaming

Yes, I’m writing a blog post about selfies. This is more of a rant than anything else, but it’s something I feel I had to say. Selfies have such a negative rap, and I want to change that. Why? Because—and repeat after me—selfies are harmless.

I know! I couldn’t believe it either. But it’s true. Guess what? It’s okay to show the world your beautiful face!

Someone I follow on social media posted a selfie the other day and prefaced it with, “I don’t normally post selfies because I’m not self-absorbed, but…” and I wanted to scream. Not only is that an unhealthy way of thinking, but that is so insulting to the people who do post selfies on a regular basis. You’re calling them out, calling them self-absorbed, when—reality check—most people who post selfies are actually quite opposite of self-absorbed.

Again, I know. I couldn’t believe that either. And I have a deeper opinion on why and who has this unhealthy way of thinking, but I’m not going to get into that.

I know, for myself, I have always struggled with self-image. Always, from the time I was a child, I never felt my physical appearance was good enough, for one reason or another. Long story short, later in life, I discovered that I have what is called Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). I have always loathed my physical appearance, from my ears down to my feet.

And what did I loathe worse than my physical appearance? Pictures of me taken by other people. I always loved being the one behind the camera, the one taking all the pictures. So, usually, that was my job. Which meant that I was rarely in the pictures. I was okay with that, but what I was not okay with was looking back through old photos and seeing the ones I was in, and wanting to set everything on fire, including myself.

Let me tell you, I am not a photogenic person. No matter what, every person who has ever taken a picture of me has always managed to get a bad angle, a bad smile, catch me in the middle of an awkward expression, etc.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized I could take a picture of myself, and I could control the angle. I can still have pictures of myself, to document different stages of my life, without wanting to set everything on fire.

It was quite a liberating experience. I imagine it is for many people, not just those who suffer from BDD or similar issues, but for your average, run-of-the-mill person.

I take selfies because I don’t think there is anything wrong with finally showing the world who I am. I take selfies because I want to feel empowered. I take selfies because pictures of me with bad angles make me want to—you guessed it—set everything on fire. And I don’t like feeling that way.

Who says we need to keep our faces behind the camera? Who says we need to hate ourselves? I’ll tell you who: the people who think selfies are self-absorbed, gratuitous, and wrong. How about instead of looking down on people who post selfies, accept that that person is probably really struggling with their self-image and it took a lot for them to show the world. Or maybe that person isn’t struggling with their self-image at all. Maybe they just want to show the world who they are.

Guess what? THAT. IS. OKAY.

Time to drop the archaic way of thinking and accept that we, as human beings, are all unique and beautiful individuals, and some of us want to show that to the world. I, for one, love selfies. Keep posting them, people. Keep showing the world who you are and stop being ashamed of it.

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