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Embracing Your Self(ie)

Jess Raver ’15

Feature Story Editor and Creative Director

If you’ve ever owned a smartphone or a camera, chances are you’ve take a selfie or two, (or two hundred.) You know how it goes; turn your frontview camera on, hold your phone at arms length, find the light, and smile. Then you find the right filter, add a caption, post it to Instagram, and wait for the likes to start rolling in. The practice has become so common in our generation, Merriam-Webster has deemed the term prominent enough to add to their dictionary. But what does this say about us as a society? Have we all become narcissists, seeking out approval from others in the form of likes? This is one way of looking at it, sure, but let’s not be so pessimistic.

Say it’s a Saturday, and you’re all ready to head out for the night. You’ve spent time and care into getting ready for this event, and it shows. Standing in front of the mirror, the sunlight is streaming through the window and you notice the glow it brings to your skin. Your hair is falling just the way you want it to, and you’re feeling confident. So you snap a photo. Experiment with angles and poses, and take a few more. Trash the ones that do nothing for you and relish in those that could only capture you the way you can. Feel good about yourself. Do you always look this way? Probably not, unless you’re a Kardashian. But you can always feel this way.

In a world where just about every image we see in the media has been through Photoshop, it’s no surprise that many people feel compelled to compare themselves. But here lies the problem – it isn’t natural for a six foot nothing woman to weigh 100lbs. Nor do everyday men sport 6 pack abs. Hard as we may try, these standards are not attainable for most, which leaves many people feeling less than. But that photo you took on Saturday? It’s real. Sure, you could slap a filter over it or change the color balance, but it’s still you. A snapshot of a moment when you were untroubled by the way you looked. Not comparing yourself to anyone, or putting yourself down. In that moment, you saw yourself as you always should. Let the photo serve as a reminder of how you felt that day, and strive for that feeling even if your hair isn’t falling quite as you’d like it to.

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