If you take a lot of selfies, go away.
Yesterday, I unfollowed a YouTube vlogger I really liked because I couldn’t take her selfies anymore. You know the kind: Stand in front of a mirror taking a picture of yourself taking a picture of yourself in a full body shot, then posting like you’re this ingenue trying to figure life out in your own humble way.
Get away from me with that bullshit.
I’ve actually done this pose when I dropped 40 pounds after a pre-diabetic scare in 2014. I was so proud of myself, so shocked at my smaller body — after decades in the 200-lb. range — that I needed to record the milestone somehow. Plus, I looked pretty, which never happens.
I didn’t mean to do the mirror selfie thing, either. I just couldn’t come up with a better way at the time. Nobody was home. Even if someone was, my son can’t take a picture worth shit, and my husband wouldn’t want to be bothered.
The selfie didn’t do shit, btw. I still looked 200 pounds heavier.
I’ve never taken good photos, not even when I looked my best at 120 pounds — pre-uterine fibroids, pre-pregnancy weight. I’m usually the one taking photos of everyone, not the one in the photo. I’m more interested in other people anyway.
So when you see a selfie, it’s usually because I’m having a rare, good hair day, I don’t look too atrocious, or the moment is too awesome not to memorialize somehow (a Mariners game with my husband!).
For the longest time, I couldn’t even look in the mirror. I still can’t stomach my reflection longer than the briefest of seconds, and only to brush my teeth, make sure I don’t have snot on my face, or spiders in my hair.
A lot of that stems from my strict upbringing in a family full of beautiful, charismatic Narcissists, and racism. At a very young age, I was made to feel less-than simply because of the way I looked, because I didn’t look like everybody else, and because I looked like this.
Is this part of why I abhor selfies so much? Partly.
The rest is that, with so much going on out there in the big blue yonder, why do you feel it necessary to insert yourself in every picture? I know people who travel far and wide, and insist on selfies and videos with the natives, like they have their own reality-TV show. That makes me want to puke. On them.
I do know I have a problem living in the moment without a camera nearby to capture that moment. I need to learn to put the cell phone away and just enjoy what’s going on, especially at my son’s soccer games.
A tournament’s coming up this weekend, too. I’ll try like hell to watch more than shoot. But a lot of that’s about me dealing with my raw nerves and the tendency to get heated with the calls and the misbehavior of the other team players. Taking pictures is my way of behaving.
Besides, I enjoy a different kind of show altogether through my camera lens. I see these boys close up, which is the equivalent of scoring box seats to a Sounders game or even better, Real Madrid.
My family hates selfies. My husband and son wouldn’t be caught dead in any photograph if they can help it. My son even went back and erased all of his five photos on Instagram, leaving the page blank. He doesn’t care about that stuff, and he’s extremely photogenic. See?
People who tend toward selfie after selfie turn me off. No matter how much you protest that you are imperfect and hate every detail about your face, you still share pictures of yourself with everyone on the daily, WTF why?! Who has time for that bullshit?
Last night, out of curiosity and because pop culture tends to be one of my guilty pleasures, I tuned into Kylie Jenner’s new E! series, “Life of Kylie.” The part that really made me laugh, then shudder, was early on when she kept trying out different poses for her constant selfies that her supposed fans demand.
She said that she checks after posting every one. If her fans say, “What the hell was that?” she immediately “deletes that shit.”
She’s the norm. The norm. Think about that.
I often wonder what my life would be like if I were born a Kylie Jenner. Probably wonderful. For two seconds. I mean so many kids look up to her and covet her lifestyle. She’s rich, white, privileged, young and beautiful (without the make-up and the lip thing), all the things I grew up wishing I could be. Young women want to be her, young men want her period.
Maybe if I looked remotely beautiful like Kylie Jenner, I’d be posting endless selfies too. I joke often that I’d walk around naked in the frozen foods aisle.
But would I really?
I’d like to think that I’m too smart for any of that nonsense. Yet, if I were beautiful, how smart would I be? Doesn’t one go hand in hand with the other?
It’s a shame I had to unfollow this YouTuber. I really bought her peaches and cream, We the People act for a while there. She’s not the first, unfortunately. She won’t be the last.
And, fair warning: If I drop off the face of the earth, you might want to check your social media selfie quotient.
Check out “The #Selfie Generation: On Narcissism, Distorted Reality & Ignorant Bliss” by Samantha Shorter at Thought Catalog for more on this trend.