That’s the premise behind my latest published piece! It’s so exciting because it’s my first for UK’s Stylist. An editor reached out after she saw the selfie I posted!! Yes, in what is EXTREMELY on brand for me, this essay started with a selfie. This here selfie, to be exact. Truth be told, I almost deleted it before I tweeted it. I didn’t particularly like it and, yes, I may have cringed too. In fact, these were my first thoughts…
Why is my head so big?
Why is my nose so big?
That’s just a downright scary photo!
But then I thought about it and what sort of message I would be sending if I just clicked “delete,” especially considering how much I love all things selfies and selfie expression! When so much of our social media identity is curated to be the most Instagram-worthy, maybe we need to see more of those almost-deleted snaps! I’d take real over perfect any day, which is exactly what my selfie is.
Anyway, the editor asked if I’d like to write about my experience and, of course, I was more than game! Obviously, I had quite a lot to say about women and how we view ourselves and how society views us.
Here’s an excerpt of the piece, which is my reminder that a selfie doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful, so go ahead and POST THAT PHOTO…
My body has often felt like a jigsaw puzzle, where none of the pieces actually fit, and growing up all these messages about how to be perfect just made me feel even more different. No matter what I did, those puzzle pieces never quite fitted together.
That photo is more authentic than any other selfie I’ve taken recently. It’s real, and we need real. We need raw. In a way, posting that selfie was liberating: it allowed me to just be myself, to celebrate my flaws and my imperfections, and to reject those societal pressures to be perfect.
A selfie can be awkward or messy or feature your big head prominently. And maybe sharing our real selves will inspire others to share their real selves, too. I’d take real over perfect any day, which is exactly what a selfie should be, because there’s nothing more beautiful than the real you.
You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so I see your tweet and we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo