Wednesday, March 01, 2017

A year of selfies

I've done it. I've made it through a year of taking a selfie and posting it every day, except for a couple of days where I forgot and then made up for it by posting additional ones on following days.

It kind of went in quarters. For the first quarter it was uncomfortable. I did not like these pictures. It was nice that other people liked them, but I was cringing every time.

I think it was around the end of that first three months that I stopped cringing. It wasn't that I started liking how they looked, but I had gotten used to it. This is how I look people!

It was also about that point that I started seeing how important they were. So many people had lost relatives and wished they had more pictures of them. Most women seem to hate having their pictures taken, but no matter what flaws they see in pictures, their children think they are beautiful. They will want pictures.

I am single and childless, with a family of siblings who would also rather never have their picture taken, but maybe we will miss looking at each other someday. We are starting to wish we had more recent pictures as our mother's memory deteriorates. Also, other people enjoy my pictures.

After six months I started noticing other people avoiding having their pictures taken. I want to tell them that they're beautiful, but I still don't feel beautiful, and I will let you take my picture, so it's not exactly that.

People have told me that I am beautiful, and I have complicated feelings about that.

Sometimes people will tell me that I look like I have lost weight. The scale is usually not in agreement. However, when I was drawing in October I was liking my selfies more too, and I think it was because drawing made me happy. Setting aside the issue of whether the first interpretation of looking better should be an assumption of weight loss, I do think that happiness can be beautiful.

I could then take it that when people are complimenting my beauty, they are really complimenting my happiness, but that's a little patronizing. If they are better than I have been at seeing that beauty and fat are not mutually exclusive, that's really important and I should respect that. And if they care about me, and like seeing me because of that, I can appreciate that. Besides, it's like Roald Dahl says:

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

So then it became harder to keep good thoughts, and the last three months have been very difficult. There has been frustration and grief and inability at times to get things done. I am less happy with those pictures, but then I am less happy with me. So, I need to be happy with the person I am, which means writing and drawing and being kind, but absolutely also means not staying up late playing computer games (I relapsed).

I can totally see the value of selfie sticks now, because arm's length does not always give you the best view. Maybe a new project could involve having other people take pictures of me. I don't know. I do know that this has been good for me. 

And selfies will continue, if not with the same regularity.

Selfie posts:

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