I’ve never been very photogenic and am pretty shy in front of a camera. I pull a Chandler, my big pearly smile turns into something painfully reminiscent of constipation. When I was in school, I dreaded PICTURE DAY. I dreaded it because my father didn’t believe in retakes. Whether my smile was crooked, my eyes too wide, my hair a nest-like mountain of frizz, or my eyes were closed, my dad didn’t want me (or my sister) retaking our photos. That’s what you look like right now, in this moment. Even if it’s ugly. It’s you. Isn’t that the point of photos? My dad is a little too honest for his own good sometimes, but he isn’t wrong.
What’s your stance on selfies? I take awful selfies and tend to delete and retake them until I either give up or have taken the perfect photo. I hadn’t realized how many selfies I actually took until I looked at my Facebook page. Looking back on them I feel like an idiot — there I am in a car, there I am in an elevator, oh look I’m smiling without teeth, oh I’m smiling with teeth, I’m smiling sweetly, I’m so excited about life, I look cute, I’m trying to look hot, DOES THIS EVER END?
Taking selfies with my boyfriend or with my friends or even with family members makes me feel a little less stupid because sometimes there’s just no one around to take a photo of you. But we can all agree that they’re a little narcissistic? A little overdone? A little silly? I mean don’t we have better things to share on Instagram than ourselves?
Why all this selfie-bashing when I am one of the millions of minions who take them? Have you seen the video of Kirsten Dunst taking a selfie with two “fans”. You should watch it. It completely sums up our fascination and obsession with selfies, likes, and followers. It depicts how much we depend on technology and how much it runs our lives. It shows, without apology, the opportunities we just might be missing because we’re too busy taking photos of ourselves, our friends, our clothes, or our food to notice what is really happening.
I’m not trying to rag on the world or what our culture has become, I’m just trying to open my eyes a little bit. I’m all for making memories, taking snapshots, picking amazing filters, but I’m also an advocate of candid photos and the moments that make it into my diary. Moments described in such vividness that a photo wouldn’t have nearly the same effect. Maybe I’m rambling on about nothing, or maybe this is something a lot of you have thought about too. Either way, I’m just one of you, walking around with my head craned down, getting lost in photos of people I don’t know, and a reality that doesn’t exist.