Dear selfie taking mom, I see you. I scroll through Instagram and Facebook on a daily basis and sometimes I see your selfies. Sometimes you post them once in a while, and since we’re friends, I smile. It’s nice to see how you’re doing and how you look after all these years. Sometimes you post them every single day. Sometimes you post them so much I question why I need to see your face every single day, or your new outfit every single day, or your abs every single day! And yes, sometimes I have allowed words like “narcissist” or “self obsessed” to creep into my head. But then I stop myself.
Because I don’t know your struggles, and I don’t know your needs, and I don’t know your heart.
I have been known to take a few selfies myself. I think most of us have… Once someone pointed it out to me…like it was a “bad” thing, and it was honestly hurtful. Hurtful because I don’t do it out of self-obsession or because I think I’m ridiculousy-good-looking that day! (cue Zoolander’s “Blue Steel”) I take the occasional selfie for much deeper reasons, and I will be totally honest here.
First, most of my family are in another country. My grandma and mom specifically ask me for regular pictures, of me, of my kids, and of our life. I happily oblige because, hey technology! It’s super easy these days to snap a photo and post it and make a family member’s day. So why not?
Second, one day I won’t be around, and pictures of me will be very important to my kids and future grandkids. I want them to remember what I looked like at every stage of life, because it brings back precious memories. I know I cherish old pictures of all my family members, and I love being able to pass them down to my kids.
Third, sometimes you DO look cute, or you’re having a good hair day, or on the other end of the spectrum, you’re having a bad day and could use the pick-me-up of a few nice compliments from loved ones. Whatever your reason for taking a selfie, they’re all valid, and it’s ok!
I am tired of living in a society where we are constantly judging one another’s motives or intentions in the most negative light, allowing feelings of jealousy and anger to taint our hearts. It’s sad, and it’s a waste of energy.
Advice to the friends that don’t like or appreciate seeing your selfies: just keep scrolling! It’s not hurting you, or anyone else! If it’s honestly bothering you that much, you might want to do some personal reflection. Why is it bothering you? Please remember that complimenting someone else on their beauty, talents or attributes does not take away from your own.
Even better, why not be the friend that likes and comments on it? Does it hurt to say, “You look beautiful, friend!” or “I love that new dress on you, it’s so flattering”. It doesn’t cost a dime to be kind, and I would rather know I have made someone’s day with a genuine compliment, than be angry or frustrated that someone posted another selfie! Let’s seek to build one another up instead of tearing eachother down.
And so, dear mom friend who takes selfies. I love you. It’s ok to be confident and seek approval from your friends on the good days, and it’s ok to have bad days where you crave validation and a confidence boost. We are complex human beings, and I promise not to judge you or your intentions, because I don’t know them, and it’s not my place. You are beautiful, and you are worthy, and you are loved. And I will be the friend that forever clicks “like” on your selfies.