Internet, can we just have one thing? Can’t we just do one trend without talking it to death, dissecting every side, defending, offending, attacking, contemplating, etc.? Must we intellectualize everything?
Well, truth be told, I don’t mind discussing every tiny thing to death, so this is okay with me. Though if we were to have a trend where everyone just raised their collective shoulders in an idk shrug, I’d have thought this would have been it.
You take them, I take them, we all take them.
Why? Does it matter?
There are too many reasons to list, but I’ll give a few: because we like them, because we like ourselves, because other people like us, because we want to show something to someone else or ourselves, because it’s a form of communication.
Because we can.
Selfies, though, are actually more than that. I challenge all of you to go through your selfies from the past three years. Go collect them, put them in order, and flip through a slideshow.
Your selfies tell a story. And not only do they tell a story, they tell your story. And that shit is important.
Want to see mine? No, you don’t, but I’ll show you anyway. It’s okay not to want to see a million selfies of someone else. It’s not your story, after all. But the people taking them? They’re telling a story over time, whether they know it or not. And each of those stories is beautiful.
Here’s my story, from the last three years, as told by cellphone selfies.
We’d just moved to Gainesville, here. Notice my frustration, the opened graham crackers on the counter, along with the crumpled towel and wine bottle. The magnets on the fridge. My new life as a stay at home mom.
I had just bought new tights and boots. Why did I post it? To show them off. Also, because I feel I look awesome here.
This was to show an internet friend of mine how to do a twirly knot in her hair. This is not an easy picture to take of yourself, by yourself.
This is mid-potty training. I’d just cleaned up more pee than I thought was humanly possible and the emoticon D: just wasn’t enough to express my feels.
This was for a DITL (day in the life). I was lucky enough that day to start it with a shower. This was the only picture of me taken that day (on my phone, anyway).
I’m documenting my genetically curved eyebrow. One of my twins has this eyebrow (which is one of the main ways people can tell the girls apart), and as an adult, I know how to make it straight. But I wanted to show my friends it came from me.
I get my hair cut once a year in October. Here are 2010 and 2011 consecutively.
This was taken for one of those take a picture of yourself right now memes. Notice how I hold the phone way over my head? I didn’t know how to take a selfie. Important to note also, up until last year I didn’t like the shape of my face and thought it looked better from space, apparently. Sorry about the boobs.
Showing off my wine and apron. Feeling like a right housewife, just a year and a few months after that first photo.
Tried to dye my hair platinum and wear makeup. Welp, that was a mistake, eh?
I was feeling like a moody poet that day. A mood poet with large, outstretched arms attached to a camera. What?
Halloween last year. My kids thought I was a witch, but I was a goth kid from 1996.
We were moving and I found my fedora buried in my closet as I packed. I mean, I really didn’t have a choice, here. What else could you do after finding an old fedora?
Documenting a sick day, showing how close my kids were sticking to me that day.
I have two kids.
Showing off new sunglasses. This is the picture where I realized taking pics of myself from an angle so far above my head my arm could have been a crane was ridiculous. See how selfies helped me shape my self image?
I’m standing with Wendy. From Florida. Because selfies allow me to do that.
On vacation. I took this photo to show my husband my abs. Then I shared it because…abs.
Look at how artsy I am! But seriously, it’s not meant to be art. It’s meant to show that I felt like attempting to be artsy. This is an important distinction in the selfie-era. Many critics think the pictures are something they’re not.
Halloween this year. I’m looking happier as the years go by, I think.
Showing myself hiding from the kids for a few minutes after the gym. Because it’s okay not to go get them immediately. And I wanted to tell people that.
I had just gotten catcalled three times while going to pick up the girls from school. So I documented it. Notice the lower camera angle? This time, though, I’m not sorry for the boobs.
Today. In defense of selfies and the stories they tell.