“If you’re the type of person who doubts yourself; your abilities, your decisions, your potential…then selfies are for you.”
That was the beginning of the caption I put under a selfie I posted on Instagram last week. In an age where we have front facing cameras in our pockets and wi-fi and 4g at our disposal, snapping and posting selfies is a no-brainer. But as simple and, often vain, as selfies may seem, there’s more to snapping that photo than a duck face and a filter.
It’s instinctive to take a selfie when you’re feelin’ yourself. That new sweater looks great, you’re having a good hair day, or maybe your brows are unusually on fleek and it just can’t be ignored. So you reach for your phone, find your light, and get to snapping. But what about the day when you wake up and just feel like…struggle. Typically we shy away from the idea of preserving this look in the form of a photo. No one wants evidence of a bad day. Or do they? Have you ever thought that maybe if you looked at yourself when you didn’t think you were at your best, might be the best time to truly see yourself? That photo is a record of you, in that moment, on that day, living. You should embrace the idea of a photo that captures you living. This is the BEST time to take a selfie. If you want to brush on a little more lipstick or pull a brush through your hair, that’s fine, but remember that this selfie is for you, it’s about you seeing yourself.
I don’t believe in forcing things. Taking a selfie does not automatically mean that you are posting a selfie. If you want to benefit mentally from taking selfies it’s important to break the habit of associating that picture with broadcasting it to the world. You will take selfies that don’t seem like the conventional perfect pic that you’ll want to post; that’s okay. You are not taking selfies for you to post, but if you feel like it, you can post the selfies you took. There’s no timeline for the perfect time to post a selfie, because selfies are for you. The world may like them and comment on them, but that’s just extra. It is not validation. Taking that selfie does not require anyone but you.
When done with the right mindset, selfies are all about self care. When you take a selfie you should be able to look at it and say, “who I am, this person I am today, who is staring back at me from this screen, is how far I’ve come and I’m proud of this person, of being this person.” Taking a selfie and not sharing it, is a reminder that your own validation is the only one that matters. It is a statement that says that you like you, and even though you may not want to share you with the world today, it’s important to share you with yourself. It is important to observe yourself, praise yourself, and validate yourself. If you begin to take your selfies with the idea that they are for you, it is amazing what they can do for you.
I take a self care selfie nearly every day. I do it because I think that we can change dramatically in a remarkably short amount of time; not just physically. Watching how your body responds to the camera over a period of time helps to give you a better sense of yourself, how you’ve been receiving yourself, and if maybe you need to be kinder to you. I would suggest to everyone to try for at least two weeks to take a self care selfie everyday. Observe yourself. Does your body language change? Do you point yourself away from the camera? Do you ever look dead on into the lens? The way you react when you are taking a picture for you and only for you, tells you a lot about what you think about yourself, take some time to watch who you are change, grow, or develop everyday.