Updated: Apr 23
Please enjoy this post below written by my buddy Erin Dalton.
Recently, I decided to start a page on social media to encourage and motivate women to live fit and healthy lives. I posted exercise tips, recipe ideas and motivational quotes, but it soon became clear one thing was missing – something personal, something “selfie.” Up to this point, I was never a person who understood – let alone took – a selfie. To be honest, I thought it seemed self-indulgent and, frankly, strange to pause what one was doing to take a solitary picture. And the motivation to share the picture with the world was beyond my comprehension. I cringed at the thought of doing this myself.
The fact is many people take selfies. So, why was I judging them? Why couldn’t I simply look at a beautiful/happy/pensive/adventurous/silly/solemn/quirky selfie and accept that this unique and precious human being felt that the right thing to do was to capture and share that moment in time?
So much has been discussed about the effect selfies have on teenagers and Millennials, but what about those of us who skew slightly older? Is our age a benefit or a bust to our selfie-taking confidence? I conducted a very official research study (read: I posed the question to my friends on Facebook) to find out. I found that the majority of my friends over 35 do not engage in selfie taking. Most said they don’t like the way they look alone in a photo, which is too bad because they are all beautiful, wonderful people. Some thought it narcissistic, which, as a former student of this school of thought, I understand, but now politely, I disagree. Only one (awesome) friend said that she preferred selfies because they turn out better than any photo others could take of her. Unfortunately, it seems that the older we are, the less likely we are to stand alone in front of the camera.
So, in the name of aging proudly and publically, I snapped a selfie of my own and posted it on my social media page. I’m not going to lie, it was really awkward and I didn’t like it at first. But I kept it up and tried different angles and expressions and found that I was growing… on myself. (Side note: I learned that the “duck face” that selfie-queen Kim Kardashian swears by is NOT for everyone!) I began to realize that maybe my selfie disdain was actually an outward expression of my internal self-doubt. Ironically, taking and sharing these photos has helped me to move past my own insecurities by forcing me to explore and embrace my own reflection.
Now I post lots of photos of myself. It continues to be uncomfortable, but something about putting it out there makes me feel better, braver and a bit more self-confident. For me, age brings with it some wrinkles and laugh lines, but it also brings a more carefree attitude, and my selfies reflect that. I encourage those of you who have not tried it to get out there, do something that makes you feel great, say “cheese!” and share it. Trust me, you will get a lot of love.
If you are interested in joining in with Erin and her healthy living Facebook group, you can contact her at: https://www.facebook.com/erindaltonfitness