I’m going to put this out there with zero judgement, and only love: I think I might hate self-portraits.
Please don’t immediately click the “Unfollow” button! I’m not condemning anyone for their self-portraits. You guys, you professional photographers, you have amazing photo skills. You do your hair and your makeup and put on pretty clothes, set up a tripod, put your hand against the back of your neck and look down at your shoes and YOU LOOK AMAZING.
I wake up a couple minutes earlier, slap on a pound of black eye makeup, shake my head violently to The Knack’s “My Sharona” while spraying Roommate’s hairspray all over my general direction, precariously balance my iPhone atop the toaster oven, set my self-timer app and twist my body into ridiculous poses and take millions of photographs, making me late for whatever engagement, until I come up with this:
And you can still see the vacuum cleaner in the background. I lack photo skillz.
And these photos look pretty (holy ego, Batman!) but I feel a disconnect looking at them. That’s not me! That’s not what I look like! I think about these photos while I’m eating my way through a box of Oreos on the couch, sifting through the Netflix lineup like a picky toddler pushing vegetables around her plate. So far removed from the “finished product,” I plot and strategize: “If I wore more makeup/if I tilt my head up/if I twist to the left…” how can I always present myself in the most flattering way possible?
Do any of you find yourselves drawing up, sucking in, tilting out, and pouting IRL? That pressure to always be photo-flawless seeping into your consciousness, taking up time you could be spending having FUN?
And then I see photos of myself looking sloppy in the moment of sheer bliss. Too-big smiles, awkward angles, caught in the act of having FUN:
And I think, “That’s who I want to be! The girl who’s too busy living life to worry about her sneaky double-chin, her too-round teeth, the way her belly curves, her hunched shoulders! The girl who glows from within, and doesn’t even have to re-set the self timer and worry about it falling off the toaster oven AGAIN.”
THIS looks like a girl who is trying to prove she is happy and confident and beautiful and sexy:
And THIS girl KNOWS SHE IS.
And I think that last picture is really me.