Tag Archives: selfie

Anatomy of a Selfie

This afternoon my sister Laura challenged a handful of friends, me included, to post a makeup-free selfie on Facebook.  I’ve taken selfies before, but I’ve only ever posted it on Instagram, and I only have a handful of followers there, so I don’t think that really counts. Going makeup free is not a super big deal to me – I don’t wear a lot of it anyways, but I would prefer to have makeup on when I am seen in public, especially when I am short on sleep, which is most of the time.  What really interested me about all this was the process.  I suddenly became very aware of my positioning, my hair, my expression, my filters…  Look, I’ll show you.

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This is the first one that I took and the the one that I posted.  I figured it was as close to “raw” as I was going to get.  Oh wait, I might have deleted the first one.  Well, this is as close to raw as I was willing to have exist on my hard drive.

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So I’ve been playing with my hair and experimenting with a less smile and more sultry. I look more tired too, and this is where I noticed that my face kind of veers off to the right.  I am 34 years old and I never noticed that before.  But does this matter? Why am I worrying about this? Hmmm…don’t think this one should go on Facebook, looks like I am trying too hard.

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Profile shot?  Too pretentious? Too self aware?  Yes. Not posting this one.

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This is a legit smile.  That one might work.

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Hmmm….fiddle with the contrast and brightness?

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Too saucy?  We are verging on duck-lips here… mmmmmm…no.

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Maybe I should try it with my hair up? I spend a lot of time with my hair up…

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And then I got curious, do I have a good side?  The right one?

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The left one?

At this point I was just getting sick of looking at myself and I thought that things were getting a little out of control, so I just posted the first one. Hopefully you’re sick of all this too, because really, should I be spending this much time on taking my photo?  No.

There is a lot out there on selfies and whether they are empowering or whether they contribute to negative self images.  I know that young girls in particular will spend a lot of time getting the “right” selfie to post online, and after this experience, I totally get why they do that.  I hope the “no-makeup selfie” challenge helps people to be more accepting of who they are, but at the end of the day, we are still curating a version of ourselves, just with one less filter.