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Selfie February 5, 2016

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

It took me years to get an iPhone, what with bad cell phone coverage and all, but I got one a bit more than three years ago, at last, and of course I use the camera feature quite a bit. But in all that time, I have maybe attempted a half dozen selfies, always with other people, and it’s embarrassing when I try, because I’m bad at it. Because I never do it. Because I hate photos of myself, for the most part. Because most of them are really, really bad. (Well, either they are really bad, or I actually look like that, which is even more upsetting.) So why would I take a selfie?

In fact, I was going to post something last week (or so) that involved an old photo and a new photo but I don’t like the way I look in the new photo, so I let that stop me.

So a couple of days ago, Amy (see “The Shirt”) posted a rather long note on Facebook which began, “I dislike most pictures of myself. I don’t actively hate them, but I’d just rather not look at them. And what, exactly, do I dislike? I just don’t think they look like me. I feel glowy on the inside, but my pictures often look a bit . . . off. Flat maybe. You know how the camera just loves some people? Well, that is the opposite of me.”

She goes on to say that she didn’t always feel that way, that she used to like photos of herself, that maybe it’s an age thing, that her internal picture is about twenty years old. “Anyway, why do I care how I look in a picture? I guess because I want the world to see me the way I see myself. But, really, why does it matter how I look? Why is that such a big deal? It surprises me to realize this, but appearances are a bigger deal than I would like to admit. Logically I know this is superficial. But it is in there pretty deep! It is a hard layer for me to shed.”

This is all leading up to her plan to post one selfie a day for a month. I have so much trouble with photos of myself that I can’t even imagine doing such a thing (but I don’t have trouble imagining other people doing this—everybody else looks pretty good!). The comments to this first post, of course, are interesting, with so many people feeling the same way about photos of themselves. (It was within these comments that I got Amy to at last post her shirt photo.) One woman noted that “My beauty doesn’t translate to 2D.” I like that.

Amy’s sister, Anna, who may be one of the most confident people on the planet, wrote: “I always LOOOOOOOVED looking at pictures of myself until about three or four years ago. Now it feels very hit or miss! Sometimes I think I look amazing. Other times I look pretty astonishingly bad. But I have started having fun with trying to look as bad as I can in a photo and then telling myself, ‘There, that is actually worse than I look.’ Also—I am SUPERimpressed with myself at how bad I can look if I really throw myself into it. Do I get any points for the width of discrepancy? Or for daring to put this on FB?” And then she posted—and I love her for this—a photo she’d shared with us during our weekend together, a first-thing-in-the-morning photo in which she is nearly unrecognizable—alongside a potential head shot for her upcoming book.

Anna headshotsI don’t know that any of this can make me feel better about photos of myself or about even looking in a mirror (when I get my hair cut? I can’t do it.), but it’s good to know that even the beautiful can look bad if they try.


1. susan365 - February 5, 2016

I think we’ll all agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence.

2. guacachocolatte - February 19, 2016

I love this! (And I love Anna!)

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