I was never a big fan of selfies. I would see the same people posting them almost every day, always with the same pose – arm stretched out over their heads off to the side, looking up at the camera, sometimes with duck lips, sometimes with sultry eyes, always looking unnaturally natural with their bathroom as the backdrop. Seriously, who feels that sultry in the bathroom on a Tuesday morning?
I wondered how many selfies they took to get that perfect, Instagram-worthy expression. It all felt like narcissistic nonsense, and it kind of annoyed me.
But then I realized I was really just being a hater. I rarely like photos of myself (except for my driver’s license photo). I critique my huge nose, dark circles, unruly hair, giant pores, crooked teeth, wrinkles, and what is up with that gnarly vein in the middle of my forehead?
And that’s just from the neck up, people. No one is better at tearing my appearance apart than I am. So the idea of posting a photo of just myself, especially a close up of my face? Nuh uh. No way.
So when I saw everyone else’s selfies, I was actually just jealous. I wished I felt that pretty. Even at my most dolled up, I didn’t have that kind of confidence in my appearance. Eventually, I posted my first selfie – a funny, self-deprecating photo on Instagram. I was sitting in the chair at the salon, looking all alien with my hair sticking up everywhere through layers of tin foil. It’s a really funny picture. (Want to see it? Well, you will have to check me out on Instagram then. Oh, and as long as you’re over there, you should totally follow me. Why aren’t you already following me on Instagram anyway? You got something against funny?)
Then in May, one of my favorite bloggers, Mommy Shorts, hosted a really cool give-away on Instagram called #RewardYourselflie, asking mommies to post selfies with their kids and put themselves in front of the camera for a change.
I thought the idea was brilliant (similar to Working on a Project’s #FocusOnMom series, which I LOVE). I take a zillion pictures of my sons everyday, but there are hardly any photos of me. Then I started having all these morbid thoughts, like what if something terrible happens to me, and my boys have to grow up without me? They should have photos of themselves with their mom. They should know that I love them. (Okay, I might cry now. Gotta stop with all that….) So every day for two weeks, I got over my insecurities and posted a selfie with my kiddos.
And you know what? It was fun! Being silly with my two silly boys in front of the camera was the highlight of my day. You can see all of our selfies on Instagram, but here are a few of my favorites.
The best part of our selfie experiment was the outtakes. OMG! Taking selfies with a three year old and a baby led to some of the most hilarious photos. Here are a few outtakes that didn’t get posted, but which I will still treasure forever.
So now I take selfies a little more often. I’m still not a “selfie everyday-er,” nor will I ever be... but... even with all of my imperfections... I exist. I don’t have to stay hidden or be ashamed of how I look. I’m a real person, a mom who wants her boys to know how she once was, a future grandma who wants her grandkids to look at her old pictures someday and laugh.
That’s why I’m actually excited about the kick-off event at BlogHer’14 on Thursday night. (PS: I’m going to BlogHer!) It will be a #Selfiebration with bloggers from all over everywhere. So you can expect to see a few more selfies than usual from me later this week as I make some new friends and meet up with a couple of old ones from my last conference.
Even if you’re not going to BlogHer, or not a blogger at all, please keep those selfies coming. I’m done hating on you, and I’m sorry for that. I want to see you, and your kids, and your awesome hair day, and your cat, and your BFF, and your bathroom wall, and the realness that is you and your life. Join the #Selfiebration!