The Case for Selfies, Belfies, & All of the Above

Ok, let’s be honest, when you see a selfie what’s your immediate first reaction? Jealousy, anger, judgement, happiness, a weird mix of all of the above? Well, despite their wide-condemnation, selfies can function as vehicles to inspire confidence and body-positivity.

The History of Selfies

While the first technical “selfie” dates as far back as 1839, the modern selfie as we know it, hit the big time in 2003 when front-facing phone cameras were released.

Several years later, in 2011, Instagram’s launch furthered the cause for selfies with the first image using #selfie.

Selfies hit the big time when in 2013, selfie was Oxford Dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year.’

Today, selfies are another part of daily life. From glamor shots to the ugliest snapchats, we find ourselves gazing in the front camera more often than not, but is this such a bad thing?

A Confidence Boost for You AND Your Followers

The prominence of selfies force us to confront our own self-image. Whether it’s through looking at our own image or that of other’s you can’t scroll through social media without taking into account your appearance.

Let’s revisit the initial question of what you think when you see a selfie. For the longest time I maintained that people who posted selfies only posted them because they were either insecure, vain, or desperate for attention and accolades.

What a negative outlook, I know. But I think the societal tendency of pitting women against one another is partly to blame for this. Regardless, I eventually came around and realized I felt this way because I wanted that confidence. After ruminating on that sentiment for sometime, I found Bianca Taylor.

Bianca Taylor is a fitness coach and vegan advocate. When I first stumbled upon her Instagram I immediately thought, “oh my gosh I can’t follow her she’ll make me feel awful about myself.”

Then I listened to an interview with her and learned the logic behind why she posts the provocative photos that she does. Yes, it’s partly because she’s confident and wants to showcase her body. However, a large part of it is to inspire other women to feel and do the same.

Upon this hearing this reasoning I completely altered my view of selfies, and belfies, and everything in between. These photos can be as empowering as we allow them to be.

Spread the Love

While posting selfies may appear a contest measured via likes, you can use these photos to showcase your confidence or the confidence that you aspire to.

If selfies really aren’t your jam, totally okay too! Just check in with how you perceive others’ decision to post them. Know that their self-assurance doesn’t diminish your own and vice versa.

I challenge you to find a moment, outfit, hairstyle, whatever that you feel awesome in, snap a photo, post it, and inspire your friends to do the same.

These platforms only objectify or dilute one’s depth if we allow them to. So go post your selfie and the next selfie you see spread the love, we’re all in this together!

Cover image via USA Today

Also published on Medium.