I don’t really like selfies. They don’t make much sense to me and they usually make me uncomfortable. Mine and a lot of yours. I know the chatter that taking selfies equals self confidence and I understand that, to a point. There is also a point they’re just narcissistic and that’s an entirely different conversation.
The world today is media-rich, pictures are everywhere, easy to take, and a way for us to participate in conversations across platforms. They help us get to know people, keep in touch and document . . . everything.
I feel confident and happy when I’m with people I like and I enjoy capturing the moment we were together. It’s great I have the ability to flip the phone and stretch my long, monkey arms out to get three faces in the shot. But I always have to approve a picture I’m in and I’ll happily delete my photo right off your phone if I don’t like it. I don’t care how mad it makes you because I don’t want you to have an ugly picture of me on your phone.
Ugly is a strong, judgmental word, but basically, I loathe having my picture taken–selfie or otherwise.
There are very few pictures of me on this blog or even in my home. The pictures on Facebook are either out of my control, very well curated, or lucky shots and maybe there are one-in-a-couple-dozen I like. The saddest part about this is that there are very few photos of me with my kids when they were little. Those wonderful keepsakes of babies and moms? We don’t have ’em. I love having photos of my family so it stands to reason they would probably like to have pictures of me.
It’s not that I don’t like myself. I actually like myself just fine but I don’t like pictures of myself. Wait. Could there be a connection there . . . ? Wuh-oh! Perhaps I could learn to like myself better.
I’m a little surprised I didn’t know about this course earlier, but I discovered Be Your Own Beloved run by photographer Vivienne McMaster. She asks, Are you hiding from cameras in your life, sure that you are not photogenic? This class is for you, my friend.
My brain actually stuttered reading that. Yes, I’ve been hiding from cameras in my life–my whole life. Of course I’m sure I’m not photogenic! Sheesh.
My first reaction to the class was “I cannot imagine!” And then I did imagine. I imagined taking a picture of myself I liked. I imagined having photographic proof of life for anybody who comes after me . . . that I wanted them to have. I imagined not getting confrontational or obnoxious when somebody said they needed a picture. I imagined learning to see myself differently through photography, and I was fascinated.
Once I told Brittan that a photo on Facebook was not particularly flattering and maybe she should think about deleting it. Bad mom–I know! Do you know what she told me? “Mom, I’m 21. How bad can it be?” She’s right. She’s young and cute and having fun. How bad could it be? What a confident and healthy attitude to have.
That made me think that I’m as old as I’ve ever been, but I’m also as young as I’ll ever be. I might as well learn to take some photos now!
Be Your Own Beloved is about cultivating self-love through self-portraiture. If that makes you uncomfortable, maybe it’s just ringing true . . . ? The course is about seeing yourself with kindness through your own camera.
Photo used with permission from Vivienne McMasters of Be Your own Beloved.
The course description reads:
This class can be a doorway to a new way of seeing yourself: with more kindness, more self-compassion and to begin to treat yourself with the same reverence that you would someone who is beloved to you.
You deserve that same reverence, that same appreciation.
I believe very strongly in the transformative power of positive words and images to get us to a stronger and happier mental place. I hadn’t thought of those images being of myself. When I’m in a good place, I’m usually practicing positive self talk–why not positive self-portraits?
Another description of the class reads it will help participants To be open to seeing yourself in a new way. To quiet everyone else’s voices of what or how you are supposed to be and listen to your own voice, your own choices.
Then there is a video that shares insights about the MYTH(?!) that selfies are narcissistic. Gasp!
I think I need to take this adventure . Maybe you do too . . . ?