If you’re reading this, you probably follow me on Twitter. Maybe Instagram if you’re lucky. In which case, you’ll know I’m a bit of a selfie lover. And to be honest I have no shame in that whatsoever. I wrote about it years ago for Elite Daily – here – I love a selfie.
tl;dr of the ED article; it’s a confidence boost when you’re feeling hot and sexy and beautiful, and it means you can control the actual quality of the photo (unlike letting your useless non-instagram-friendly friend take a shitty photo of you that cuts out the background and gets you from your worst angle.) Plus a photo of you stood at the Grand Canyon looks much better than a Google Image cliche of the Grand Canyon.
And y’know, the whole flip-reverse-it theory on why we hate our own photos – you don’t like other people’s photos of you because it’s the opposite way round to how you see yourself everyday in reflections. Selfies keep it the right way.
I used to love a selfie. I used to love Instagram. The little filters, back in the day when people used the borders provided in the presets. (Literally no one does that anymore do they.)
But then I got Snapchat. I was very late to the game – I never used it at school, I missed all the trends and the filters and that hotdog thing. I saw the Instagram girls use the flower crowns and the puppy dog ears and I saw people complaining about the flower crowns and the puppy dog ears. And before then, I was happy in a world of mild self confidence (combined with maximum Gingham filter) to rock my natural non-tongue selfie on the ‘gram.
With most things in my life, I got Snapchat to impress a boy. Dur. Because apparently even with Tinder, Bumble, Instagram, WhatsApp, guys like to return to the #sendnudes way of life as quickly as possible.
Regardless of the boy, I got into the silly habit of filtered selfies. I never progressed to flower crown or puppy dog, and being naturally blind rather than a cool chick with augmented glasses ruled out half of the available set-ups, but mostly the angel halo or ones with little gold birds flying around your head. Only to send silly tarty selfies to said boy, then the odd friends that still had accounts active enough to send me some snaps back. Lemmi tell you, nudes with a halo is the perfect oxymoron of modern slutness.
Then I realised you could save them. And I’d look at this mirror image, lightened airbrushed skin, bright bold eyes, liquified jawline, and be like, damn, this is a great picture. And then I started Instagramming them. And I cringed at myself every time for being one of those girls that takes a selfie with a filter and then uploads it.
But now it’s an addiction.
I open the regular camera to try and take a selfie – and I see bad, textured, uneven skin, a big chin, badly eyelined eyes, off-white off-perfect teeth, and I hate it. I used to take selfies with every outfit, every hairdo. And now I open the camera, look for a second, and then close it and move on feeling deflated. Unless I’ve got time to open Snapchat, pick a filter, take one photo, save it, close it, take another photo, save it, close it, and feel embarrassed the entire time I’m doing it, then now I won’t even bother.
The act of having instant Photoshop at your fingertips plays against everything we’re telling ourselves – everyone is fake, everything is filtered, you don’t need to change to be beautiful, blah blah. The models in the magazine don’t look like the models in the magazine – I know this. But since having this Photoshop available, it’s made me completely fall out of love with, well, my actual face.
Literally the only cure of this is to put the Snap away, take a nice happy selfie, stop skin retouching and teeth retouching and lighting and liquifying and just post it. Blah blah, self acceptance, blah blah, feeling body confident – the only way to actually stop fooling myself is to just stop using it. There’s no real moral to this story other than to stop being vain, stop relying on Photoshop, stop ruining my own self worth for the sake of a halo or some dorky glasses. And nothing will change until I do that. Easier said than done, but maybe that can be my new goal before the end of the year.
But… doesn’t everything look better with dog ears and floppy tongues?