Selfiefliction

Taking selfies – ugh, all the feelings.

I never know how high to hold my phone, or how not to have crazy eyes – like I just saw a UFO land in my backyard. The angle of the phone. The slant of my face. Do I look towards the light? Or stand in front of it?

I have so many questions.

Why does EVERY SINGLE FIRST SHOT I take look like I’m trying to smile while watching an animal get gutted?

Are people who stand a whole arms length taller than me the only ones who see me the way I (like) seeing myself? And, dear lord, what must I look like to my kids?

Will I ever take a perfect picture of myself on the first try?

Is this my most narcissistic post ever?

A few days back, I decided to start taking selfies every day in an attempt to get more comfortable in my outer-skin. My plan included posting the pictures online to dig deeper into my discomfort at the image staring back at me.

I even started a new blog – somewhere else – where I could post the selfies.  But, really, can you even imagine? All those pics of yourself, one after another after another?

It’s pretty much me screaming, “Look at me! LOOK AT ME!”

I’m much more comfortable yelling, “Read me! READ ME!”

I’m still taking the selfies. It’s nearly become an obsession – in the car, my dining room, walking around the house looking for the best light, the right background.

After snapping multiple pictures of myself and the rest of my family on our way to dinner the other night, my daughter pleaded with me to stop.

“You’re acting like a teenager,” she told me.

She wasn’t wrong.

Even here, I fear I’m making a scene where there shouldn’t be one. The idea of posting a picture of yourself only to say you don’t like pictures of yourself seems not quite right. (There’s probably a German word for it; they pegged all the icky emotions – schadenfreude, torschlusspanik, fremdschämen.)

I don’t know where it will lead, but I’m going to keep taking the photos. After spending a lifetime turning a shy face toward the lens, I like the idea of logging what I look like even if I’m not entirely comfortable with how I look.

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2 thoughts on “Selfiefliction

  1. I like the idea. And I have to say, your writing says READ ME, not you. It never fails to please, entertain, make me think, etc.

    I laughed out loud at your German riff. It’s true and hilarious.

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  2. I hate the word “selfie.” I refuse to use it. If I could ban it from my life, I would do it immediately. It might as well have been a swear word that was so shocking that after you mutter it, you search the room praying to God that no one heard you.

    But, I LOVE how it can be represented. It’s liberating, taking photos of yourself and seeing how you really look day-to-day, the way that you are approaching it now. Some people choose to avoid mirrors for a year, you chose to take a picture of yourself every day and post it. (Your idea has my vote!)

    I’m curious what type of phone you’re using, if you’re using an app to edit the photos, or if you edit the photo at all before you post it. Is it as simple as clicking and sharing, or do you crop it, style it, and change the brightness and saturation levels before you post? Do you write something brief or in-depth about how you feel after you see yourself, and are you noticing that over time, the more photos you post of yourself, the more you begin to think “wow, I’m not half bad.”?

    I hope that you share the link to your other blog one day. I still hate the word “selfie,” but this project is so much more than that.

    – Sam

    experiencethetriangle.wordpress.com
    samanthasweede.com
    twitter.com/samanthasweede
    facebook.com/sweedewrites
    instagram.com/swsweede

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