I'm not sure what the hell came over me in the last two and a half years, but my selfie posts went up exponentially. Well, that's not true, I do know what happened to me. I went through a terrible break-up and when I say terrible I mean day after your invites went out, fiancé calls your wedding off in a gravel pit adjacent to the downtown Wells Fargo, horribly public, small town break-up terrible. A few weeks back I went through my pictures on Instagram and thought aloud to myself, "What. The. Fuck? What's up with all the bathing suit photos Lynn? Do you really need eight pictures of yourself in your new mirror -- you can't lie and say it's about the new mirror anymore. Everyone knows what you're doing... and also, why do the captions have nothing to do with what the picture is actually about? Oh God, you're that person."
I went through and deleted the most egregious ones but, I'm only human, I couldn't delete the ones where I felt I was really rocking it... tastefully. A few selfies are ok, right? Part of me does want to cut myself and everyone else posting insane numbers of selfies some slack. I was obviously feeling insecure and just needed some friends and other random people on the internet to tell me I was pretty and that I didn't deserve to be dumped in the parking lot adjacent to the Wells Fargo. "You deserve to be dumped at the place and time of your choosing Lynn, you are worth the best dumping in the world." But my Irish Catholic side isn't letting me off so easy. My Irish Catholic side is like, "Lynn, you fucking moron, delete all those photos and beat yourself up about it for seven-ish days."
I want to clarify before I go any further that I'm all about posting a picture of yourself if it makes you feel good, but you know, keep it in check. Learn from my selfie mistakes. Posting a picture of your face every other day is boring, but a selfie every now and then can be a fun way to remind people you've still got it -- just do yourself, and everyone else, a favor and caption it something like "feeling myself" or "taking a selfie because I want to." Don't caption a selfie "love my family" if they are out of focus in the background or "loving this new cookbook" when it's a perfectly positioned photo of your amazing cleavage. Everyone can see right through that, and I think most people would appreciate it if you just captioned it "my cleavage is looking amazing and I felt like sharing -- also I got this cookbook three years ago and I've opened it once."
I've noticed that when most people post a selfie, their good friends (and the people who like every single photo in their feed) immediately comment: "So beautiful." "You look amazing." "Gorgeous." It’s like some secret girl code. I don't want to complain, because maybe some of my friends weren’t aware of the expectations I had for them regarding my selfies, but they could have really picked it up a notch. I mean, it's kind of part of being a good supportive female friend in this day and age. When your female friend posts a selfie, you get your ass on there and post a supportive comment. #WomenSupportingWomen. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the women’s movement is mostly built on leaving supportive comments on other women’s selfies, right? I wonder if my friends started to feel like it was an obligation? "Oh Jesus, it's been two years now and she's still posting multiple bathing suit pics. She can't really expect me to comment on each one? And why does she keep captioning them with random Ghandi quotes? I should tell her to stop. I'm going to tell her. I mean, when is this going to end?"
In all seriousness, I've really lucked out with the women in my life. They are the most supportive people I could ask for. And even though their supportive selfie comment stats are lower than average, they more than make up for it in behind the scenes selfie advice:
Sabrina gave brutal, but trusted selfie advice. She went on to text, "It's like uhh... are your lips ok?! Were you mid-sucking on a hard candy?" Meanwhile my brain was bouncing dumb thought after dumb thought around like "I wasn't sucking on a hard candy, but should I be? Maybe that's not really my best face angle? Do I even have a best face angle? How do I make the lip pucker look more natural? I want it to look more like, 'What? This is just how my lips are.' Maybe I should show teeth? No teeth? Teeth? Lipstick? Is that lipstick on my teeth? I'm hungry." Obviously I was overthinking things a little, but I’d like to meet the woman who takes a selfie and posts it in under five minutes.
So, yeah, I decided to walk back my selfie presence because I obviously can't hack it. I wish that I had some profound thing to say about finding that my true "good angle" had nothing to do with physical beauty, but I don't. I’m still trying to figure out what my true good angle is. I honestly just looked back at my pictures over the past couple years and was embarrassed that I had posted so many boring pictures of myself and was also upset that receiving comments on my looks had seemingly become so important to me. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking pride in your appearance, I think the amount of time I spent thinking about my appearance was at worst narcissistic and at best annoying. Snapchat doesn’t count though. I can still take selfies on Snapchat.
While I am retiring from the selfie game, I pledge to diligently post supportive selfie comments on other people's posts because #Imwithher or something. And for all you people out there still playing the game, my last bit of advice: run all your selfies past Sabrina first.