In Defense of Vanity

Ever since I was little, I’ve had a strange fascination with my own face. I would spend hours contemplating the lines, dots, and colors that make it unique. Sometimes my obsession would turn negative, especially in high school. I cursed my round eyes, unruly eyebrows and uneven skin. Because what I saw looked nothing like the beautiful people I idolized, I grew to resent the features that set me apart.

But as I aged and grew into myself more, the resentment faded and was replaced by curiosity. A nose is just a nose. An ear, just an ear. But I thought if I had the balls to not just accept but love these components of my anatomy it might make all the difference. Hence, the idea:  selfies as a form of self-love.

My friend told me recently that there were studies done that prove the body releases neurotransmitters that make you feel happy whenever you look at a picture of someone you love. Why can’t that someone be yourself?

The idea isn’t new (Kim K has quite literally written the book on it) and yet the simple act of taking a picture of yourself is still seen by some as an act of narcissism. I see where they’re coming from, and if you’d have asked me two or three years ago I’d probably agree with them. But lately I’ve wondered:  what’s so bad about looking at yourself or even, god forbid, liking the way that you look? That’s why I started taking a selfie every day. This wasn’t an official #challenge but more of a promise to myself  to check in. Even though 90% of the selfies I take don’t see the light of day (let alone my Instagram feed), taking them feels like an act of defiance. I will look at myself and I will love what I see.





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