The Magic Beneath The Mirror: Why I Love Selfies

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woman taking selfie
For me, selfies are a rite of passage on the transformation highway. Here's why.

Celebrities have been involved in selfie worship long before us regular folk had the gear to snap our selves silly. Now everywhere I look it's in the news, a craze gone mad. A Guardian article on the shocking power of the sex selfie brings it all into focus. Nothing will stop us gawping at and gossiping about celebs, and I quote, "If today everyone is a kind of celebrity, then everyone can have their public fall from grace." Yes, I am afraid liberation starts with a selfie.

Are they shallow, completely vain and fueled by a 'look at me' culture or the revolution we have been waiting for? You decide, but I know what I believe. Dismissing the young and desperate effort to be seen, as our parents did to our rebellion, is the easy way out. This world has frowned on people showing off, especially women. I would rather bare all, than cover it up yet again to shut up. Why live life on the backs of other people's beliefs? It's failed to save us. This selfie phenomenon is curious and indicative of who we are — and it is true our underwear is showing. First it was piercings, then tattoos and now the whole world has a camera eye, that clicks and whirls 24/7. Nothing is sacred and I rejoice in this fishbowl living, precisely because little can hide in the light. 

Do you find yourself secretly enjoying the rush as everyone gathers in close to make selfie history? I do. I love selfie-land and the 'in the moment, in your face' fare. A way for us to look in the mirror and see beyond the flaws and the shadow. Of course, everything in life has a veil of illusion around it, a Tower of Babel world, all of us talking in tongues, unseen and misunderstood. So the real question becomes if you don't snap a selfie did it really happen?

Self-fascination has so many detractors, and I can see why. It can get boring fast, the mystery only lasts as long as a heartbeat. Like #Selfie by the Chainsmokers, its addictive.

Girls and women are used to being used, talking to cover up what lies beneath. Maybe it is more lies and make believe or perhaps a crap load of nothing.  I like to think that most of us have more depth than what shows up on the surface. However, I believe in conscious living, luxury, laughter and that we come to earth to evolve. So for me Selfies are a rite of passage on the transformation highway. I have been a girl/woman in many roles, who has suffered at the hands of society because "selfish" has such a bad rap and women have long been portrayed as wicked. How interesting is it that the words selfie and selfish are so aligned?

People say the universe never gives us what we can't handle. I believe that. I suffered horrible pangs of guilt and remorse for wanting things my way, having a different opinion. Key phrases like "stop being selfish, who do you think you are? Go make yourself useful," did nothing to encourage me in becoming more of me. So many of us were trained to be fake, taught to cover up so we wouldn't incite passion. Naked nuns, wearing the habit of what other people wanted, with nothing of ourselves underneath.

So what the hell does this have to do with selfies? Everything. This is a revolution, even if you find it revolting. The very word "revolting" is about doing what disgusts others to change the way it is. It  does seem like there's no connection between 'let them eat cake' and snapping selfies. We're each alone, and must find the strength within to be okay with that. Selfies give us a glimpse into our own magic beneath the mirror. Plus, the power of being in the moment is a requirement of living in alignment. Declaring we were here or x marks the spot, gives voice to the women who played possum. For many females our existence has been about disappearing into a part, knowing all the right ways to please the world, drummed into our cells for centuries. Silent Cinderellas letting the nameless Prince take charge. But now, with selfies on the loose, we don't need a prince,  just a phone with enough light and juice to snap the moment. 

I've been watching women around the world slowly change the way it has always been done. Putting themselves into the firing line with tools like selfies to burn through rage and old tales. Mutilated and shamed, standing up to speak and share their scars and faces. Celebrities have become heroes of our age. I used to think they were so ridiculous, a total waste of my time, wondering what the fuss was about, and then I got it. Celebrities don't exist for themselves, they exist for us. They model outrageous behavior so we have permission to be real. A famous woman can show up anyway she wants, without getting shot down or drowned. Crass behavior of 'look at me I am twerking' creates a sense of safety about who we are. Raunchy and loud, standing up in a new kind of naked, to easily surpasses the grudging equality of yesteryear. Once only available as a madame of a whorehouse or a mistress of a king.

We get to look at vulgarity and see beyond the shocking to the lines of freedom drawn beneath, selfies are kind of the Shakespeare of our times. Exposing the messy emotional tales of woe, and gore that have been lurking in the dark. Owning our bodies and ultimately what lies beneath, brings the power squarely back in our court. It's hard to believe that when I was 16, unwed pregnant girls were sent to nunneries, shushed in shame, and now here we are posting selfies in our underwear. Snapping these insta-portraits changes history, because no one can say women do nothing, even if it means shooting ourselves in the foot a few hundred times.

Selfies have captured our imagination and somewhere in our psyche we know the truth of this mirror technique. Clicking to be seen or perhaps to see, trapped in a world where outer beauty has long been the barometer of who we are supposed to be. We are all doing it or trying to shut it down. Couture shops like Lagerfield's are putting ipads in the dressing room. This article proposes that taking a selfie in the dressing room will make us feel more insecure. Seeking imperfections is just another outward response to our own inner damage. We have to stop buying into the helpless female role thinking nonesense.  Selfies are proof that it doesn't matter what you look like, it's what you project, protect and protest about that is the ultimate booty call.  

In a world where all secrets are out on a search engine somewhere, we have the chance to change. For better or worse, your body and your being is what you believe it is. If you're desperately seeking body perfection to catch the man of the moment, you could miss a deeper side to the selfie game. The opportunity to claim, name and proudly take that selfie for who you are. Shallow or deep, fat or thin, old or young, better or worse, be proud of who you are. A woman who has the power to be anything. Selfies give us the means to a new end. That is why I am reveling in the selfie game.

I help women discover the truth of  who they are so they can feel safe enough to show up and live with confidence daily.  If you are looking for guidance, from an expert seeker I invite you to check out my website jenduchene.com.

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