Thursday, January 2, 2014

My first project of 2014: #365FeministSelfie

First #365FeministSelfie of the year: "One-on-one with my girl"
Have you heard that the word 'selfie' was chosen as word of the year for 2013? Other articles, like on Jezebel, decried the narcissism in the selfie. When I saw that, I felt a little sheepish, being quite prone to Instagram selfies lately. But when I read this post over on Viva La Feminista, which I found via PhD in Parenting, I agreed more with Veronica than Jezebel. Selfies can be a feminist act, in the sense that you are making yourself visible. How often are women like us actually visible?

I have a few more questions for you. How many pictures of your children, your pets, your stuff, do you take in a year? A month? A week? How often do you include yourself in the shot? Think about why you don't. Is it because you're not wearing makeup? Maybe because you don't feel like you look good enough for a close up? You feel more comfortable behind the lens than in front of it? Why is that?

Though I post quite a few selfies, I often choose not to take photos of myself, or I take them & then don't share them because I don't feel that I look good enough, whatever that means. I'm struggling with body image issues since Bronte's birth, trying to love this new, larger me. So when I read about this project--taking a selfie every day for the entire year--it really resonated with me. Why don't I feel like I look good enough? Maybe because so many of the images I see are not of women like me. When was the last time you saw a nearly 40-year-old woman, un-botoxed, unphotoshopped bags under the eyes from chronic sleep deprivation, with a stretch-marked pot belly that's held babies in a magazine or on a website?

Yeah, I thought so. So let's become visible again. Let's take back the selfie from the duck face teenagers. Let's outnumber all those images of personal trained, cosmetic surgeried, photoshopped women with authentic images of ourselves. Let's turn the selfie into a feminist act. Here I am. Are you with me?

Go read Viva La Feminista's post about it if you haven't already. Post your selfies on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & hashtag them #365feministselfie. I'm going to try to do it every day this year, but if that seems intimidating you don't have to--maybe weekly will work better for you? Looking forward to seeing your #365feministselfie!

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  1. I actually think the "selfie" is often unfairly maligned. Part of it comes from the years of people taking photos of themselves in virtually identical poses in bathroom mirrors (with the phone clearly visible) and posting them to Facebook. However, like you, I end up taking photos of myself with the kids because 1) the technology exists to do this and 2) there is often no one around to take photos.

    I don't see it as narcissism, as I HATE the way I look in most of these photos. However, it is nice to have these moments with the little ones captured, as they grow up so quickly.

    I think a lot of people apply the following logic:

    1) Selfies are things done by common people with no knowledge of better things
    2) I am better than the common people
    3) Ergo, I hate selfies.

    This logic often informs people's taste in movies and music.

    People also have all sorts of reasons why they hate all baby photos, but I no longer concern myself with that.

  2. For the record, I love seeing your photos of yourself & L & B, so keep it up.

  3. Yay! This is a fantastic project. You're going to inspire many people of all genders with this. I look forward to all new pictures! xo Mikey

  4. Thrilled to meet you thanks to #365feministselfie, and pretty surprised about how excited I am for this project - especially since I'm giving birth to my second daughter in a few weeks after a pregnancy that has not been all that self-care focused (walk, yoga, sleep....what? I have a business to run and a family to keep happy!). So, this is bound to be an interesting year personally but I totally agree that there's power in taking back representations of our faces and our bodies from the perfect myth of the media and daring to look and be looked at in all of our unkempt glory.


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