11 January 2016

Value Your Self(ie)


First of all, I'd apologise for the title, but part of me thinks it might be the best thing I've ever written. So instead, I'm gonna go ahead and give myself a pat on the back for being hilarious.

Second of all, hello. It's been a while since I did the blogging thing, I hope I haven't forgotten how this thing works. I don't have any excuse really, other than I was focusing on getting myself happy and healthy, so I'm happy enough with the time out. I am back now, I can't promise a post every week, but I'll try my best! In terms of life achievements, all you've really missed is me losing 3 stone (GO ME) and I saw Star Wars and The Martian, both of which were most excellent. I mean, I did other things, but those felt like the main things. I'm not sure what that says about my life, but I don't really care, so there's that. 

The new love of my life.
With that all out of the way, let's chat about selfies. I get made fun of on a fairly regular basis for the amount of selfies I take, and that's fair enough, I do take an alarming amount of selfies. There's a lot of chat about people who take selfies, none of it particularly heartwarming. The majority of the opinions I've read about them generally follow the whole 'could you be any more in love with yourself?' (I hope you said that in a Chandler Bing voice) train of thought. It's not good. There seems to be a resounding belief that selfies are a sign of a vain, vapid generation who care only about themselves. Allow me to offer an alternative view because, after all, what's wrong with loving yourself?

I used to hate having my photo taken, even now I get a bit antsy if I'm not the one holding the camera. I'd look at every photo of me that was taken and pick out every single flaw. My face was too fat, my eyes were too small, my nose was too weird, what the hell face am I making? Everything. Everything was wrong with those photos, even if someone said it was a nice photo, they were lying. When I was in the height of my depression, I couldn't even stand looking at pictures of myself. I would actively avoid the three thousand pictures my Mum has hanging up around the house, because to me, they were just a reminder of my failure. All I wanted was to be able to look at a picture of myself and be happy with what I saw. 
After a while I learned how to manage my mental health and take better care of myself, and I taught myself to not automatically doubt everything I did, and that burgeoning sense of confidence and security was just awesome. Suddenly I didn't feel like shit 24/7, there were brief moments when I actually thought 'y'know, I'm not too bad!', and soon those moments happened more frequently. Then I fell in love with makeup and it was like a whole new world (I, 100%, started singing the song from Aladdin there, I hope you did too) opened up to me. It was like magic! This was something that allowed me to control how I saw my face, how others saw my face, I could hide what I wanted and enhance what I liked. I was finally in charge, and after years of feeling like I wasn't, it was a glorious feeling. 

With the makeup, came the selfies. Every time I liked what I'd manage to do with makeup, I'd take a photo of it, and instead of hating everything that I saw, I'd see something that I liked, which felt like a life achievement to me. Being able to compliment yourself when you've gone for so long only able to put yourself down, is just the best feeling in the world. When I hear someone complaining about people taking selfies and hear them say 'they are so in love with themselves!', a large part of me thinks 'good. I hope they are'. Because when did it become a problem to love yourself? I'm not saying that posting selfies is going to cure the great issues of the world, and sure, like everything there is a limit, but if that photo made that person feel good for even just a moment, then what's the problem? 
I don't post pictures of myself to gain anyone's approval, the only person's approval I need is my own. I couldn't care less if someone doesn't like a photo of me, because if I've posted it, it means I like that photo and that's all that matters. Sure, when I post my 389th selfie to Instagram and get a few likes, I'll not deny that it feels nice, it feels like a little internet compliment, even if it is just someone double tapping picture. I challenge you to find anyone who doesn't like a compliment, and if they say they don't, they're lying. And you should probably compliment them because they sound very sad.

I don't post selfies because I think I'm the best looking person in the world, I post them because I do think I have a nice face, I do like what I can do with makeup and I do feel pretty, and I don't think any of that is a problem. Those pictures might be 'vain', 'vapid' and 'ridiculous' (thank you social media for all your opinions, as always) but they made me feel good about myself in a time when I didn't think I could, and my opinion of myself is far more important than anyone else's. 

The next time somebody tries to make fun of you for taking selfies, ask yourself; how do you feel about that photo? If the answer is that you think you look bomb as hell, then post that picture to every piece of social media in existence because the world deserves to see a moment of you being happy in your own skin. It's a bizarre turn of events when we're trying to teach everyone to love themselves, but the second they show a sign of doing it, there's someone right there telling them to reign that shit in. Don't reign it in, love yourself proudly and publicly because you deserve to. 
If you're the person who makes fun of people who take selfies, try it for yourself. Take a photo of yourself that you like and point out five things that you like about it, and if you don't feel marginally good about yourself after, you're probably a robot. 

I'll leave it there because I've already lost this blog post once and I won't risk it again. I hope you all had a magical Christmas and a wonderful New Year! I can't wait for 2016 because I feel like it might be a great year, and maybe I'll actually post some blog posts! We'll not place money on that though. I will chat to you all soon(ish),

Be happy and be kind,
Becca xo

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