I have two absolutely wonderful sweet and generous friends who also happen to be gorgeous.
They totally intimidate me. They love to exercise at classes that actually cause one to sweat and feel sore, and because of their dedication they also actually fit into single-digit-sized clothing.
So it came as a complete surprise to me when one day they said:
“You take the absolute best selfies!” said one.
“It’s true!” said the other. “I am so jealous! How do you do it? You always look so good!”
I was shocked.
I don’t take selfies for the purpose of pleasing others. I take them because they help me see myself the way I am.
I find the mirror is not really very representative of me.
I thought my selfie-secret was that I just usually took multiple images and deleted the ones I didn’t like.
So, to reveal my so-called secret to them, I proceeded to take a slew of group selfies of the three of us (a challenging feat with my short arms) and guess what: it was true!
Of the three of us, I was the one who had eyes open, smile at the ready for the shot.
Yet when the three of us visit a bar together, I can promise you, I am basically invisible.
On Being Selfie-genic
I’ve never held much faith in the belief that some people are photogenic, and others are not. I’ve always thought that being able to be captured in a beautiful way on camera has more to do with being relaxed and comfortable than having a certain kind of face.
With a selfie, it should be even easier to capture a good shot because there’s no one there to intimidate you.
This summer, however, my family and I had a professional photo shoot that I organized with photographer Avery Wham. It was a gift to ourselves to celebrate our becoming a family officially. I hired Avery because she’s a friend and I felt sure everyone would be relaxed with her.
Turned out everyone was but me.
The photos came out fantastic, well except of me, which came out… just fine. Guess which one I really like though?
I could tell when Avery was shooting that I wasn’t giving her “me.” The kids were, and Colin really was. But I could tell from her responses that I was not photogenic that day.
It showed in the photos. Did I look “good” in the photos? Absolutely. My hair was great, my body was fine, I was smizing to the max.
But it wasn’t “me” coming back through the lens. It wasn’t the me I give out in my selfies.
My Revised Philosophy on a Good Selfie
I still take lots of images when I take a selfie. I try different angle and filters. I delete what doesn’t work.
The key is: I want to make sure it is the me I know who is reflected back. The selfie is a mirror of who I want the world to see.
The selfie is me.
A selfie isn’t reality or photographic proof– but it is a very real internal truth. I may not be a size 4 in real life, but in my selfie, I am showing the world the way I feel about myself, inside.
I am surprised (and happy) that my friends happen to see those as beautiful.
Today’s prompt: Please post your favourite picture of yourself from 2013, self-portrait or otherwise!
This post is part of December’s reverb13. Click the button to read more.