The Polarizing #selfie

The selfie has boomed with the continuing growth of social media…and I mean boomed. Social media has made it easy to share your selfies instantly with the entire world — or at least your tiny group of friends (as it may be). However, this trend is creating some buzz around women and the negative aspects of the selfie.
Women who post selfies are criticized for seeking the approval of others. By posting pictures of themselves, they are asking the world to compliment them — tell them they are beautiful…pretty…etc. Read: You don’t have enough self-confidence. 
Others say the opposite, posting selfies is narcissistic. Why would you post a picture of yourself? Obviously, because you think you are beautiful and think highly of yourself. Read: You have too much self-confidence.

(Truth be told – Anything posted on social media can be criticized for both of these as well)

Isn’t this always the case with discussions about women? You are too sexy, you are too plain, you are too fat, you are too think, you are too this, you are too that. Women are constantly criticized for being too much or too little.
Confession: I take selfies, and I take a lot of ’em. 

I like selfies because I am in control of the picture — I make bad faces, and I mean bad faces, in typical pictures. So, I can just delete them if I am making a weird face. If my husband and I are on vacation — we don’t have to find someone, teach him how to use our camera, and then get a somewhat decent picture. Instead, we can take one ourselves. Plus, I take tons of pictures of me and my cat looking totally adorbs — and yes we are.

I like celebrating who I am and what I am doing. I like sharing pictures with the world. I like smiling, and I like sharing my color scheme of the day. So as you might imagine, I don’t put much stock in peoples’ criticism of selfies. I, instead, see this as a chance to inspire future generations and celebrate womanhood.

Disclaimer: I do understand that extreme cases can be dangerous —- too much approval seeking — basing self-worth on selfie comments, etc. Please understand in this post that I am speaking of the general population who enjoying taking selfies for the fun.
Approval-Seeking: Inspiring the younger generation

I get it. No one likes when people seek compliments — it is annoying. As a general rule, this approval-seeking criticism is pointed at younger-selfie-takers – below the age of 23. At this time life, do we all not seek approval? If you say no, then you are lying or have totally forgotten your teenage years – acne, braces, just general awkwardness.
Unfortunately, our society has taught women, starting from their first day out of the womb, to base their merit on their outer appearance. (Men are affected as well — don’t forget about the boys ). I see the flaw in this and in the idea of approval seeking. However, for women who are coming into their own, they may need a little push as they journey to who they are — a push especially from women who understand what it is like to go through the awkward teen years and who are now on the other side.
Although this may or may not be limited to younger girls, the point is that sometimes people need a little pick me up — a little assurance. What does it hurt to pay someone a compliment? Maybe they feel down. Maybe they got a new haircut, and they are excited. Whatever the case may be (and you are not a mind-reader so don’t attempt to understand peoples’ motives), we should embrace others instead of criticizing them. 
We all seek approval in different forms because we all need affirmation in life — these affirmation needs change as we get older but remain. Am I a good wife? Am I a good mom? Instead of critiquing, support the younger generation of girls (and maybe some women) by telling them how truly beautiful they are inside and out.
If they are truly approval seeking, good feedback will be better in the long run for their self esteem than negative feedback. Let’s help build a powerful future generation of women. We are all beautiful, perfect creatures.
Narcissistic, really? Celebrating who you are
And on the opposing side: “Posting selfies is narcissistic.” Ok, fine, yes, maybe I do think highly of myself. But we, as humans, require a healthy amount of narcissism to aspire and inspire. Otherwise, we would have no purpose and crawl in a hole — which doesn’t sound like much fun. We need self-confidence to live, achieve, and love (ourselves and others).
This critique tends to be geared at women! Surprise, surprise. Women, after going through the approval seeking phase, have finally come into their own. We know who we are – we own our thoughts and our bodies, and instead of people loving the fact that we know ourselves, they want to tear us down saying that we think too HIGHLY of ourselves. Is that possible in our society?
Women are taking control of what they feel is beautiful and sharing it with others. That’s right, critics. Women feel beautiful despite what society wants us to think. There is no shame in thinking that you are beautiful — in fact, you should. Share your smiles, your laughter, and even your goofy duck face if it makes you happy. That does not make you narcissistic. Loving yourself and who you are – your inner and outer beauty — is a major part of a happy life.
So, you have great fashion sense, share it with world, sister! You can accessorize like a beast, show me your bling! You can create perfect nail art, like Zooey Deschanel, flaunt it. You can create some killer smokey eyes, instagram it! You look great without makeup, you and your bestie are hanging out, or you and your pet are having a day at the park, share it with the world. Celebrate your talents! Celebrate what makes you happy! Celebrate yourself — beauty doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Beauty is just what it is – how we see the world — and ourselves.
As I said before, we are all beautiful, perfect creatures.
Whether you are posting selfies, food, babies, pets, reposts, political rants, or whatever — it is your prerogative to post whatever you want on YOUR social media page.
So, #selfie it up if it makes you happy!

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