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In Defense of The Selfie

selfies for self esteemSelfies are an interesting topic. Some people avoid them like the plague. And I get it. I get why. But some people – like me – have grown to enjoy them. Let me fill you in on what led me to writing this post.

Recently a friend of mine posted something on Facebook that struck me as interesting.

She asked what people think when they see an Instagram account and the majority of the pictures shared are selfies.

The responses were staggering.

I’m a selfie queen. I am. I admit it. I’m brave enough to call myself that.

Selfies are interesting. People tend to love them or hate them. But I would have never guessed that there are people out there with such a visceral response to them.

The thoughts on selfie-takers and sharers range from people expecting over-confident narcissists to bored individuals with nothing else to say.

But then there are the people in between.

The people like me. Or who I believe I represent. Or simply, me. Who I am.

I take selfies for a number of reasons.

The first being that it’s kind of fun. It’s a reflection of yourself outside of the mirror. How often do you see yourself? If you’re like me you rarely look in the mirror. You’re at home or the office, you travel, wherever you are you might pass your reflection in the bathroom and move along.

Maybe you check your make-up for smudges, your hair for fly-aways, fix your contacts and move on.

Or maybe even that is rare, and you find yourself looking at your phone or the window/wall nearby to catch your reflection with hopes that you’re presentable.

Whatever it may be, it’s likely infrequent. And with today’s day and age as digital as it is – pictures of you and friends or family are fewer and farther between. There’s no going to the pharmacy or photo place to pick them up and look over them for hours with friends. No laughing at how weird you look or goodness, WHAT was I wearing? reactions.

It’s all instantaneous now.

You click. You look.

But still, how often do YOU have someone take a picture of you?

Rarely. Infrequently. Hardly ever.

So. Introducing the selfie.

A picture that you can share and laugh at. A smile, or not. An accomplishment, a new shade of lip color, new glasses, haircut, earrings, whatever it is. You can share it. Social media allows you that. Encourages that. And even though we talk to our friends around the globe constantly because of Facebook and Twitter and email and texting (or is it Snapchat now? I’m so old!) they rarely SEE us. Like ever.

So, we take pictures of ourselves.

And we share them.

And yes, maybe it’s a little bit narcissistic. Maybe it’s a ‘hey, look at me!’ moment. But I don’t care. Because I selfie with the best of them. I share myself, flaws and all. No filters. Minimal make-up. Winter accessories. I want my friends and family to not just know what’s happening with me, but to SEE me while I’m experiencing all of it.

And no, not every.single.moment of Not that.

Just whenever I feel like it. And if they don’t like it? They don’t like it. They scroll on. Don’t click the like or the heart or whatever. I don’t – as some people think – go back and check how many likes my selfies have received. I do, however, monitor the engagement I have on Instagram – for future campaign purposes – in case I ever need that info. I am still a blogger, after all.

Oh, and lest I forget, perhaps the most important thing of all. All this selfie-taking? It’s helped me come into my own a bit more. It’s helped me take a quick picture and say, oh, hey, look at me. I don’t look that bad right here. I look pretty okay today. And when you’re someone who battles themselves regularly while trying to find a balance that helps you recognize you’re pretty damned special exactly the way you are? That’s pretty damned special in and of itself.

So, like it or not? The selfie is here to stay. And this girl is okay with that.

You can read more from Andrea over at Good Girl Gone Redneck, but if you want to check out her honest selfies head on over to @goodgirlgonered on Instagram.

Andrea Bates

Andrea is a native New Yorker living in NC who has become quite accustomed to wearing flip flops year-round. A licensed clinical social worker, she spends her free time volunteering for a number of organizations supporting women (more specifically, mothers) in need of a reminder that they are not alone. Andrea blogs at Good Girl Gone Redneck, where she writes from the heart, sharing the ins and outs of parenting, family and relationships. She also devours books and regularly features her honest reviews, ensuring that her readers are intrigued and ready for more.

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Anne @MidlifeBlvd

Thursday 3rd of March 2016

I love other people's selfies! When I follow a new person on Instagram, I look to make sure they occasionally show their face or I don't find them as "real"!

Andrea Bates

Thursday 3rd of March 2016

I love that mindset, Anne. I kind of agree - and hopefully it will continue to work for me as I connect with people across social media!

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