Why you might be seeing a lot more of me in 2014

Ah, the selfie. Celebrated. Reviled. International word of the year for 2013 and also at the top of words to banish for 2013.

Clearly it’s a polarizing idea. People love them or hate them. I love them and hate them. I really appreciate a well-done selfie – when they’re insightful and show something about the person both holding and in front of the camera. I love the creativity involved, especially when someone is doing a year-long 365 project of selfies. I love seeing what people want to expose about themselves, and I love when people who are usually behind the cameras are brave enough to step in front.

So what do I hate? My selfies. Ugh. I can count on one hand the number of photos I’ve taken of myself that I truly love, and maybe there’s another dozen that I like because I’m framed with the kids. Every single time I try to set up a photo of myself, I feel self conscious and ridiculous. To be honest, selfies play to my most visceral of fears: looking foolish. I cringe at the idea of someone looking at my photo of me and thinking, “Oh that’s so sad. She’s way too {old, fat, boring, plain, ugly} to pull that off.” While I don’t lack confidence in so many other areas of my life, I cannot imagine why anyone might want to see any more than the occasional photo of me.

Which is precisely why I joined the #365feministselfie project. Sometimes, ya gotta do what terrifies you, right?

Don’t worry, you’ll not have to suffer through hundreds of photos of me posed coquettishly with lips puckered and chin raised. There’s no way I have the tenacity to make it through 365 of them, but I am aiming for one a week for a year. One of my main inspirations is this article that I shared last year, something I want all my mom friends and photo clients alike to read. I read it last year and it has stayed with me, because it is oh so very true:

I’m everywhere in their young lives, and yet I have very few pictures of me with them. Someday I won’t be here — and I don’t know if that someday is tomorrow or thirty or forty or fifty years from now — but I want them to have pictures of me. I want them to see the way I looked at them, see how much I loved them. I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother.

When I look at pictures of my own mother, I don’t look at cellulite or hair debacles. I just see her — her kind eyes, her open-mouthed, joyful smile, her familiar clothes. That’s the mother I remember. My mother’s body is the vessel that carries all the memories of my childhood. I always loved that her stomach was soft, her skin freckled, her fingers long. I didn’t care that she didn’t look like a model. She was my mama.

So when all is said and done, if I can’t do it for myself, I want to do it for my kids. I want to be in the picture, to give them that visual memory of me. I want them to see how much I am here, how my body looks wrapped around them in a hug, how loved they are.

I plan to play just as fast and loose with the definition of “selfie” as I did with the idea of a 365 project after the first year was in the can. A photo taken any time during the week, posted maybe on Instagram or maybe Flickr or maybe Facebook. Maybe of my feet, or my reflection, or my shadow. But me, once a week, for a year. Let’s see where it goes!

Easing into this #365feministselfie thing cuz Angela dared me to. Apparently I am still 14.  Oh and #mo365 too!

Want to play along? It’s not too late!

What do you think of the whole “selfie” argument? Do you see them as narcissistic or celebratory? Is the selfie any more self-indulgent than endlessly loquacious blog posts? Should there be a “best-before” date on turning the camera regularly at yourself? What would keep you from doing a project like this?

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

One thought on “Why you might be seeing a lot more of me in 2014”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *