When I first got Instagram I was super self conscious about selfies. I didn’t know what to do with my face and I didn’t know if I was even hot enough for selfies. Nowadays a week doesn’t pass without me posting a selfie. Why? Because I’m vain? No. Because I believe selfies wield a special and specific power. I believe that selfies promote self love. The good kind.
I’ve posted before about women I needed to see. Well over the past couple of years there have been some selfies I needed to see. When I see goofy_ginger‘s crop top selfies my first thought is, “She’s beautiful!” And then my second thought is, “If her stretch marks are beautiful, maybe mine are too.” When I scroll through effyourbeautystandards I see beautiful women (and men!) before I see back rolls and double chins. So if their back rolls and double chins are gorgeous and fierce and strong and adorable and brave, maybe mine are, too.
To love someone, to love something, you have to get to know them/it, right? To fall in love with a person takes time and effort and looking and seeing and listening. Well, it takes the same time and effort and looking and seeing and listening to fall in love with yourself, too. Selfies helped me fall in love with myself. Not in an “I’m the greatest” way, but definitely in an “I’m great” way.
Brittany Gibbons once had sex every day for a year. I know this because she wrote about it. One of the things she wrote about was how having sex every day for a year changed how she viewed her body. She and her husband each listed their five favorite things about her body at the beginning of the year. At the end of the year, their lists were much more specific and uplifting. They practiced celebrating her body until it became natural.
Now, I’m in no position to have sex every day for a year. But Brittany’s experience practicing celebrating her body in specific ways has stuck with me. What do I like about my physical self? What do I like about my emotional/relational/spiritual self? Asking and answering these questions are how I fall in love with myself. How I practice self care. How I become more like the person I was created to be. And selfies help me answer these questions.
Selfies allow us to celebrate ourselves and to celebrate each other. Selfies are fun and shameless and courageous! You know you’ve seen people by themselves on a plane or at a subway station or in a Starbucks taking selfie after selfie trying to perfect the angle and the lighting. That’s bold! And good for them! Because selfies are fun. Because ourselves are worth celebrating in bold and shameless ways.
Get to know yourself. Look at your face. Isn’t it beautiful?