Last week, I took my first "selfie" and posted it on my Facebook. I had recently colored my hair a much darker color than the phenotype of my DNA expresses, so I wanted to show it off a bit while beginning a new chapter in my cynical, yet surprisingly cheerful, life.
Since then, I have not stopped taking pictures of myself.
Feel free to call me vain, but in reality, I am just trying to catch up. I've spent years with my nose in the air, scrunching it with disappointment whenever I saw people indulging their narcissism by taking pictures of themselves. I've always been the type to purposely avoid something that is trendy or popular. I (very stupidly) waited until the fifth novel came out to read Harry Potter and I refused to watch Lord of the Rings until college. It was my own (very emo) way of rebelling against the world. As a teen, I could have written a book called, A Budding Hipster's Guide to Appearing Deeply Unimpressed. I purposely rejected things that were popular, while simultaneously naming The Matrix my favorite movie and listening to Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory on repeat. I was a poster child for hypocrisy.
As I've grown, I haven't exactly lost this unfortunate piece of my personality. I judge a lot of trends harshly with an undercurrent of superiority that I don't actually possess. Twitter, Instagram, reality television (excluding Top Chef- that shit is amazing), cinnamon flavored bourbon and, of course, selfies. I am late to the party on this one, I know. The running gag about making fun of people who take selfies has definitely run its course. I, however, have had a slight change of heart on the subject, which is why I feel it important to address it here.
While thinking about the best way to approach my entry into selfie nation, I examined more carefully the reasons why I was so opposed to them in the first place. As I've said elsewhere on this blog, I am not huge on self-promotion and talking about myself. My disinterest in taking pictures of myself and sharing them with others stems from a few different places.
The first being that annoying piece of my personality that doesn't want to conform to what is popular. The second reason, however, stems from a larger and more psychologically significant aspect to my selfie revulsion , which I know many others could relate to. A lack of self-esteem and possession of a higher than normal level of anxiety.
I post a picture of myself smiling and happy. I look good. I'm pleased with my appearance. I get a few likes, maybe a few comments about my clothing or smile. But then maybe I also get comments that I'd rather not read. Unsavory comments about my body or rude insights as to why I took the picture in the first place.
You need to tweeze your eyebrows.
You think you're so hot don't you? Fuck off bitch.
I take the picture down immediately.
Posting a picture of yourself on the internet exposes you to people who feel like their opinion on your appearance needs to be heard. It forces your heart open for the entire world to see, quite possibly only for the world to swallow you whole in return.
If I post a picture of myself, it's existence is proof that I liked it. This truth opens the door for the vanity police to come and knock you down a few pegs. I have always (excluding my drunk college days) chosen to avoid this confrontation. In general, I'd rather post no pictures at all, than to have one person comment negatively. However, if I want to enter the world of social media (the way an aspiring novelist is almost required to do these days), I need to get over this mentality. I may hate the idea of someone thinking that I think I look good, but I am coming to learn that people will always have opinions and not all of them will be pleasant. If I am going to try and put my writing out there, put myself out there, that choice comes with consequences.
It opens me up to people being dicks, because let's face it, people are dicks. That is one thing you can always count on, someone out there is sitting behind their computer screen and purposely writing a heap of bullshit, just to be a dick. A scaly, flaccid, penis. It's inevitable. You can't always trust people to be nice.
And in the end, that's what it all comes down to. Trust. I don't actually have a lot of that. Not for people in general, not for those close to me, not even myself. I am sure there will be some sort of late night post about this rather inconvenient characteristic, but for now, I'm going to leave it.
Back to selfies.
As I said before, I haven't actually stopped taking pictures of myself since the first one of me in my car, showing off my new hair. I am going to share with you all of those photos now. Why? Because I can. Because I think its important I work through this little issue of mine and I am using you poor unfortunate souls to do it. By over coming this hurdle, I can allow myself to share not just my face, but my world with my friends and family. And, once again, all you suckers.
So, without further ado, this is me. Indie G.
So, there you go. That's me.
And this is me again, signing off. Until next time...