I was sitting outside of my favorite bakery the other day, feeling good about myself. I felt sexy. I liked what I was wearing. So I took out my iPhone and snapped a photograph of myself. According to the Internet this is called a “selfie,” thought I would prefer to refer to it as a “self-portrait” because the term “selfie” sound ridiculous, but to each her own.
Suddenly, a stranger stopped on the sidewalk to observe what I was doing. He remarked: “Taking a picture of yourself, huh?” I paused for a moment, wondering what his motivation could be for asking that question. Perhaps he wanted to shame me. Maybe he doesn’t understand why people take pictures of themselves. Then I responded simply:
“Yes, I am taking a picture of myself. It’s fun. You should try it sometime!”
The man was taken aback. He laughed and walked away.
There is a common misconception about the selfie. Many people assume that if you are continually taking photographs of yourself this means that you are egotistical or a narcissist. This is simply untrue.
There is nothing wrong with taking a self-portrait. On a given day, you might really like your outfit. Perhaps you feel good and want to document that feeling. Feel free to document that moment in time with a picture. Love yourself in a photograph. Self-love is wonderful. If you want to (in turn) then post that photo on social media, do it.
Unfortunately, it is common for people to shame one another for taking and posting self portraits online. GET OVER IT. Maybe it’s not your thing, but it makes some people happy so let them have their fun.
Here’s another relevant point about the selfie, it is not something new. Great artists have been creating and taking self portraits for centuries! Here’s one of Leonardo da vinci:
Rembrandt was also a fan of painting himself:
I highly doubt people were calling these great artists narcissists. That sounds silly, doesn’t it? So why are we shaming people for taking a modern-day self-portrait?
The only reason I could see getting annoyed with someone selfing a self portrait is if that individual is blocking your way in public. Perhaps they have stopped in the middle of the sidewalk or on a crowded train to take a selfie and you can’t get by. Then it’s feasible to say something.
Keep on taking pictures of yourself. Feel good about you. Love who you are! For good old time’s sake, here’s a selfie of me: