I’m seeing end-of-the-year collages everywhere, so I thought I would make my own.
2013 has been a good year for me. I was elected Student Body President at my university (Fire Up Chips!). I made some great new friends. Made the Dean’s List (twice!) and dyed my hair purple.
But one of the things I am most proud of myself for is finally being able to take selfies.
I remember being in 8th grade, and everyone had a myspace. Everyone. It was before the days of tagging, so you had to upload your own pictures for your profile.
I couldn’t do it. I thought I was so ugly that every single picture I took was unsuitable for people, especially my peers, to see. I ended up having a photoshoot with a friend, and I only put the pictures online where I wasn’t looking into the camera. I literally had these black and white pictures of me with my hand over my face or facing away from the camera.
As I grew up (and moved on to facebook!) I got a little better, but as a friend pointed out in highschool, even then I always had to be in a picture with someone. I still wouldn’t publish a picture of just me.
Finding feminism saved me. It took me years to realize that I wasn’t ugly. That I was taught to see myself as ugly, and to see my worth as being directly tied to what I looked at. I knew this the moment I discovered feminism, but it took me years and years to feel it.
I finally feel it.
Not every day, but most days.
It’s the most liberating feeling in the world, loving yourself. Self-care takes on a whole new meaning when you finally think you deserve it. Selfies allow me to capture my appearance as I want it, they allow me to show myself to the world and say “This is me, and I am hot”.
I’m still working on some hang ups I have about my appearance. It’s hard for me to leave the house without makeup, and I have a hard time wearing jeans or anything casual. But I’m working on it! And I’m honestly really thankful that I am able to recognize these things as problems, instead of thinking that they are normal or personal failings.
In 2013 I’m thankful for a lot of things, but one of the things I’m most thankful for is selfies.