November 17, 2015

Looks May Fade, But Selfies are Forever





I've never been very big on compliments. I never quite learned how to take them, in part because I always thought that if you accepted a compliment, people would think you're conceited (and surprise, surprise: they do) and in part because it took a long time for me to believe these things. When people complimented how good I was at school, I shrugged it off because it was never like I tried. That's not a humblebrag, I promise. When they told me I was funny, I balked. And when they said I was pretty, I...well, I'm still working on that one.

It's not lost on me, then, that I work in a world that's very surface, What you wear, how you do your makeup, what your scarf looks like on any given day, how you can arrange your life to look just so on Instagram. And I've learned that sometimes, the bits of your life that you want to capture and share with the world are the moments where you feel your best. And a lot of the time, you can feel your best when you feel like you look your best. Also, why are we still so pegged on this idea that caring about how you look is inherently bad?

Sure, there are deeper things in this world to think about. There's atrocious poverty and war and people are constantly fighting for equal rights. But to capitalize on these things for what? The likes? For people to think that we're aware of what's going on in the world and that somehow makes us better than the people who aren't posting about it? If all you're doing is joining in on the social trend du jour, and you're not actually doing anything to change the world for the better, is that really less surface than an iPhone photo of somebody's eyebrows?

Because if there's one thing I've learned, it's that learning to love yourself is a lifelong process. There are days when I wake up and I think I'm pretty (so you agree, you think you're pretty? Lol.) and then I'll wake up the next day and think I'm nothing special. And those are the days I'll put a little extra effort into my makeup, or choose my outfit a little more carefully, because I know I'm going to need the confidence boost to power through. But I'm not chronicling that for the compliments. I never want to be someone who exists online to be pretty. I want to empower. I want to show people that yeah, you can own how you look and what you do and that you shouldn't apologize for either. I want people to not only know that it's not a bad thing to have high self-esteem, but to believe it, and to have it themselves.

You deserve that. Really. And so I don't think I'll ever get "good" at accepting compliments online. I hate it when men try to slide into DMs or try to hit on me, because that's not what I'm here for. That's not the space I'm trying to occupy, and to be frank, that detracts from the message that you can be here for yourself. Not for anyone else to think you're pretty, but for you to think that you are pretty, and not to need validation from anyone else. 

Learning to say "thank you" wouldn't hurt, of course. But the next time you catch yourself judging someone's 5th selfie in a week, ask yourself when was the last time you complimented yourself. And then do it. Revel in yourself. Because you should. Because there's nothing wrong in that. And if someone has an issue with it, it's just too bad that they're too blind-sighted to revel in how awesome you are with you, too



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