The Inner Monologue of a Selfie-Taker

Oh, I look nice today. My hair’s not stupid and I look well rested for once. With this light, maybe I’ll just snap a quick picture to see…

What about this angle? Hmm. Maybe if I flip my hair a bit? Okay, that’s a decent picture.

And what filter—yep, this one will work.

Now that’s a good selfie.

But that’s not what I look like in real life, really. It’s so easy to lie on social media.

Should I post this? Probably not. I mean, I’d just be doing it for the likes, right? For people to tell me I’m pretty? That’s not a healthy thing to do. I shouldn’t seek external validation like that. Plus, maybe it looks a little too staged, like I’m a bit vain and spent a while making the picture look nice. Which, well, I did.

But hang on. Considering I’m someone who often lacks confidence in my appearance, could posting this selfie be an exercise in empowerment? Like, if it makes me feel good about myself, isn’t that a win in a world that’s geared to make women feel bad about how they look?

Plus, haven’t selfies, in some form or another, been expressed throughout history? Weren’t Van Gogh’s paintings of himself kind of selfies? Didn’t he paint himself dozens of times? Maybe there’s something about humans that we’re interested in how we look and how we present ourselves to the world. It’s kind of a fascinating exercise in self-expression and identity. Selfies are almost like a work of art demonstrating how we see ourselves.

No, that’s stupid. Selfies aren’t art.

But what about that post I saw on Facebook once, a picture of a statue of a naked woman with the caption something like, “If a man captures a woman’s form, it’s art. If a woman documents her own beauty, it’s vanity.”

(Well, I was close on the caption, anyway.)

I could post the picture with some witty comment so that people know I’ve thought about these things and I’m not just a narcissist. (Though there’s a chance I AM just a narcissist?) But I’ve gone that route before. It’s not really genuine if I do it again, is it? Then I’m just performing being critical of this cultural phenomenon while still partaking in it, aren’t I?

Man, I do like how I look in this photo. I wish I actually looked like this in regular life.

This is what I hate about Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. People say to me, “Oh, it looks like you’ve been doing so many interesting things!” That’s just because that’s what I choose to share online. I’m not gonna Insta my Saturday night grocery shop or tweet about the deep existential sadness I sometimes feel when I wake up. Nah, I’ll share what I want you to see and that’s who I am online. Same with selfies. I’ll show you how I want you to see me, but that might not really be me.  

I dunno. Maybe I actually look weird in this picture. And maybe selfies are so 2015? I can’t keep up.

Is this all just a classic case of me overthinking stuff?

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