Even before the word "selfie" officially made it into the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it was impossible to go an entire day without seeing the
extended arm face of a family member, friend, or co-worker on your social media feeds. Because selfies have become so common, many people are fed up and openly bash them. As a response to all the haters, blogger Anne Thériault of The Bell Jar explains why she loves this photo fad.
Dear Friends Who Take Selfies,
I want you to know that I love it when you post pictures of yourself. I know selfies get a lot of bad press, but I think they're rad. They give me a little window into your life, and you'd be amazed at how much I can get out of one little photo.
I love your pictures because I love seeing what you're wearing — the outfits you build give me ideas about how to mix it up with my own wardrobe, and seeing you work your sh*t gives me courage to try clothing that I otherwise might have thought was too outlandish or revealing.
I love seeing how you do your hair and makeup. You look like a hot babe, and I wish you would make YouTube tutorials explaining how you get your eyeliner just so. I want you to post pictures every time you change your hair, because seeing you cycle through all those neon colors gives me great ideas about what to do next with my own hair.
I love when you take selfies in your house. It's neat to see where you live. When your place is cluttered, it makes me feel better about my own messy apartment. When your house is neat, it encourages me to get my sh*t together and do the damn dishes already. I like seeing the things you own and the art you put on your walls, because those things tells me so much about who you are and what you care about.
I love when you take selfies while on vacation. I don't get to travel often, so your pictures allow me to live vicariously through you. The excitement on your face when you take a selfie at the Trevi Fountain or by the Arc de Triomphe is perfect and beautiful. I've seen a thousand pictures of the Louvre Pyramid, but the most interesting ones are the ones with you in it. If I wanted to see a picture of the Great Wall of China all on its own, I could just google the damn thing. You're what makes those pictures special.
Mostly I love your selfies because I love seeing you feel good about yourself. I love how your face glows when you look like a million bucks and you know it. I love when you celebrate yourself. You deserve to be celebrated.
It's easy for people to roll their eyes at selfies and make jokes about girls who just want attention, but the truth is that for lots of women — especially women of color, trans women, disabled women, and all the other women who see their existences erased in mainstream media — posting pictures of themselves is a way of challenging our culture's narrow beauty standards.
Selfies are a way of saying, "I love myself, and I will fight anyone who tries to change that fact."
Selfies are not a question. They're not asking, "Do you think I'm pretty?"
Selfies are a statement: "I am here."
I see you.
I love you.
Your selfies are inspirational. That might sound corny, but it's true. When I see you love yourself, it helps me love myself. I suspect the same is true for lots of other people who see your pictures.
So please keep taking selfies. Please fill my Facebook and Twitter feeds with your wonderful face. Every picture you post fills me with so much joy. I love seeing you.