The craze of ‘selfies’ has been growing over the past couple of years (the term ‘selfie’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013), and now in 2016, it’s bigger than ever before. People have different opinions on this trend, some love taking, sharing and viewing selfies, and others don’t. And then there are those who don’t really mind either way.
Now I’m a huge believer of people being entitled to their own opinions, and the world would be a very boring place if everyone felt the same about everything. But what really baffles and upsets me, is when someone bashes another person when they post a picture of themselves. On Instagram in particular (which is an app specifically designed to share photos), I’ve seen some really heartbreaking comments on pictures that people have posted of themselves, comments that are not only targeted at their appearance in a selfie, but personal comments about someone that that ‘troll’ doesn’t even know. It saddens me to think that someone can be okay with insulting someone like that, and get away with it because they’re hiding behind a screen.
In my opinion, being confident and comfortable in yourself is one of the best feelings in the world. It’s something that can take a person years to develop, and something that can take someone else seconds and a few words to completely tear down again. If someone feels confident enough to post a picture of themselves for the world to see, then that’s surely an incredible thing? Who is a stranger to bring a person down for feeling good about themself?
As someone who struggles with mental health problems, and battles daily with self-image, posting a selfie is a big deal for me, as I’m sure it is for the majority of people. There are some days I feel like the ugliest person in the world, and there are other days where I feel absolutely incredible. Everyone has good days and bad days, and I really think the good days should be celebrated, and not destroyed.
As an actor, people judge my appearance every day. My CV has a headshot, so my face is literally the first thing someone sees, before they even read about my qualifications or experience. I’ve grown accustomed to being told ‘you just don’t have the right look’, and it’s something I’ve learnt not to take to heart. As part of my training, I was taught to identify what I thought as ‘flaws’ as a ‘unique selling point’ (USP). For example, my big nose means that my face has ‘character’, and I can play Jewish – hurray! In the same way I can identify something I’m not overly keen about, I can also remind myself of the parts I do love about myself. For example, I might not be the biggest fan of my nose, but I love my eyes!
If you look at my Instagram, I’d say about 40-50 per cent of my photos are selfies, and I have absolutely no problem with that. In the same way I love feeling good about a picture of myself, getting likes and positive comments about it, I also love seeing other people’s selfies, and seeing how good someone else is feeling about themselves. When a friend of mine posts a picture of themselves, it genuinely makes me happy, because in that moment, they’re happy.
As yes, Instagram does provide filters, but so what? That doesn’t make a person any less beautiful in real life. People who wear make up are essentially wearing a ‘filter’ on their faces, but it doesn’t make them vain or narcissistic.
There’s a difference between vanity and self-confidence, and if someone doesn’t like you posting selfies, then that’s their problem and you shouldn’t let it stop you doing it. In fact, you should post even more, because it’s fun to annoy those people.
So, readers, keep posting those selfies. You’re all beautiful, and you deserve to feel like you are.