The Selfie – The Ultimate Act Of Self-Love And Expression

The Selfie – The Ultimate Act Of Self-Love And Expression

I have a side, I have an angle, I even have a gaze. Throw in good lighting, a decent make up attempt and you’ve got one very common selfie checklist. Having lived in the era of tall poppy syndrome and my own existential identity crises (more on this in my next episode), posting selfies, free of anxiety, hasn’t always been easy. Shame on me for posting a picture of myself right?...wrong! Shame on those who have a problem with it.


In 2013, the term “selfie” joined the Oxford English dictionary and since then, has been widely criticised as being narcissistic, fake and the ultimate act of preventing assessment at face value. This latter point I find most narrowed, when do you ever meet someone in their entirety at face value in order to judge who they are? You only ever meet the person they chose to present. Take a job interview for example. You wouldn’t tell a perspective employer you hate mornings and lack people skills. You put your best foot forward and hope that those qualities shine through. Same with a selfie. You don’t take the photo highlighting the pimple on your chin or the botch eyebrow job. You take it from your good side and good lighting to hide your sleep deprived skin. I personally view selfies as the ultimate act of self-love and self-expression.

Deciding an image of oneself is gram worthy is one way of giving yourself your own seal of approval. However it’s presented to the world of megabytes and likes (natural, filtered, duck lips or not) is up to an individual and for no one to judge. It is said that people hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves. Ponder that the next time you catch yourself summarising ones life through their Instagram feed. I will be!


Truth is, until recent times, young women and men have struggled to see themselves portrayed in main stream media where there has been a lack of diverse representation. There is still some way to go! Selfies have encouraged a fight back, flooding our feeds with diversity of race, weight, height and disabilities, promoting different standards of beauty. That is the positive power of the selfie.


It is argued that selfies put emphasis on the importance of looks. Author Erin Gloria Ryan criticised selfies, believing that the images they often portray, as well as the fact they are usually posted to social media with the intent of getting positive comments and “likes”, reinforces the notion that the most valuable thing a woman has to offer the world is her looks. In response to that, just because a woman posts images of her body or face does not mean she does not value her other attributes.


Those brave women who take makeup free, poorly lit selfies aren’t any more confident or better than those who take selfies with the equivalent of Aunt Bettys cake mix on their faces. What matters is that you are comfortable with the “selfie” enough to post it as a representation of what you are feeling and loving about yourself at that time.


I post my fair share of selfies. They’re not planned or at the top of my priority list. If I’m feeling my look on any one day, I have no qualms in celebrating myself and appreciating my own unique look, dissimilar to anyone else. I’m particularly thankful for the reminders those selfies afford me when I’m faced with days where even a vague reflection from a shop window has me ducking for cover. These days happen to everyone! It’s International Woman’s Day…  take time for self-love and appreciation and show your good side off with a selfie to mark this day. No judgement, no criticism, just love.

Follow Kelly’s selfie journey here. Thank you Kelly xx

Art by Olivia Muus

Art by Dito Von Tease

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