In defense of “the selfie”

You hear and read it: all the things wrong with taking pictures of yourself. Of course, it depends who you are, how you were raised, whether or not you grew up to believe you’re beautiful or not. 

But, for me, I grew up with those same expectations. You must be and look a certain way to be accepted. I was never good enough. I wasn’t thin enough, I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t smart enough to deplete not being thin or pretty enough. 

I escaped all photos. If someone managed to get a photo of me, I destroyed or deleted it. And you know? Props to my ex-husband for this I guess. When we were going through our divorce, he said, “I just want the pictures.”

I came home one day to find him going through container after container of pictures. He smiled at the photos of our son, but then said, “they’re none here of you.”

I said, “no. You never took any. I took them all.” And I saw his eyes well up a bit.  

There are no pictures of me from 29-40. It’s as though I stopped existing. I realized that after my divorce. So now, yes, I take selfies. There’s nobody else left to commemorate my appearance and yet I have a son. 

If more of the amazing women I knew understood the power of themselves, they’d never wonder why we take “selfies”. 

I’ll be gone someday. I want those who cared about me (mostly my beautiful child) to remember what I looked like.

I like capturing my mood when I’m happy, sad, introspective, in love, on the brink of amazing. I’ve been stuck here a while. Here’s the only photo I have that shows it. Selfies are good. Let people know you’re here. You’re real. You aim to change them. Selfies are good. 

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