How I See My Selfie – #reverb13 – Day 7

Elizabeth Howard_Selfie_2013I 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?

Selfie with Avery

Selfie with Avery

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.

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home.

 

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  8 comments for “How I See My Selfie – #reverb13 – Day 7

  1. December 7, 2013 at 8:28 am

    This is such a great thing to read. I hate looking in the mirror. I hate pictures taken of me. I didn’t take ANY selfies until probably just this year when I…well exactly what you wrote. Thank you!

  2. December 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I love this post and your insight and wisdom! You are Beautiful and I love that you let your spirit shine through!

    • December 9, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Thank you Christine! Is it my Roman nose you love?? (-;

  3. December 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    It’s true, you take brilliant selfies! And you are gorgeous.

  4. December 8, 2013 at 6:04 am

    I have always been envious of your selfies, too, especially since I have never been photogenic, and have albums and albums of awkward proof to back up that statement. I have often been inspired by (and drawn to) your self-confidence, your willingness to put yourself out there, and I’m perpetually impressed by all that this quality has allowed you to accomplish. Another lovely post, my friend.

    • December 9, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Tricia, you can do good selfies too! Just takes practice! I ran a 5K after all, right?

      Thanks friend.

  5. December 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I love this post! I feel like selfies get such a bad rap. Totally sharing this on Twitter- and thanks for sharing this for Reverb!

    • December 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you Tracy… I agree. Selfies aren’t always about other people. I think technology CAN be used for good, but it’s fun for people to find the evil in everything and to immortalize the past as golden.

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