Taking Selfies Doesn't Mean You're Confident

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

The word 'Selfie' was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2014, and has been part of our everyday vocabulary for over a decade. Selfie means to take a photo of yourself, and people often believe this notion means you're confident, vain and find yourself attractive. While there is nothing wrong with feeling this way about yourself, it is a huge delusion that everyone that partakes in a selfie feels that way.

I have been taking selfies since I was a teenager. Whether this was a on a disposable camera, a webcam, or my Sony Cybershot, taking pictures of yourself to use for your MSN and MySpace profiles was not uncommon. I have documented my entire youth and progression to adulthood through the use of photographs, and i'm sure we can all have a good laugh at the different style choices we have made along the way (you're welcome). However, along side these photos I have suffered with crippling anxiety, depression and a sea of things that have knocked my self-confidence.

For me, taking a selfie is something that helps boosts my confidence. The confidence doesn't exist until i've seen the photograph; the photograph that is angled correctly, shows my makeup freshly applied, my hair fluffed up to look voluminous and a filter to match my Instagram aesthetic. Taking that one selfie takes about 20 shots that are binned, and more often than not i'll set out to take a photo of myself and then give up because i'm not happy with the outcome. 

Getting that one photo you deem acceptable to share with the world isn't about loving myself (hell, I wish I did love myself a little more!) but it is about that road to loving yourself. The journey is far beyond just a photograph, but if it takes seeing yourself behind a Snapchat filter to make you feel a little more happy about your appearance, then do it!

Whilst I don't agree that your self worth is in the hands of others, their validation and acknowledgement are a factor in how you feel about yourself. It's no secret that receiving a compliment makes you feel good, so to me it's common sense that a lot of people uploading selfies are using it as a platform to help with their own confidence. They want to remember that time they actually felt good about themselves. It feels good to have that stranger compliment your lipstick, it feels good to have your partner comment how lucky they are to have you, and it feels good to have your friends talk about how nice your hair is. 

Whether we like it or not, we are now living in a world that is controlled by social media; your Nan's on Facebook and your dogs got an Instagram. The majority of the content we consume is from the internet, and this will inevitably affect the way we think and feel. I have very little self-confidence, I rarely feel good about my appearance, and it's so easy to compare myself to others I see on my timeline. It does make social media a vicious circle, because whilst it somewhat feeds my ego, it can also be the demise of it. Trying to find the balance between what is real and what is fashioned in a way to match their feed can be difficult, but just remember that every rose has its thorns. Nobody is perfect, everyone has their insecurities, and just seeing someones face once a week on Instagram doesn't mean they're vain and leading a confident lifestyle - probably far from it!

How do you feel about selfies? Why do you/don't you take them? Would love to discuss in the comments!

© Image Source: Pexels

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