Monday, June 15, 2015

Selfie! For Posterity.

This morning I got a pedicure. Normally I would use the time to do something I consider productive like answer emails or read a book or heart pictures of all my friends' pets on Instagram. (Oh, yeah, their kids too.) But this time I decided to give my poor brain a break. I picked up a magazine with Kim Kardashian on the cover. In the article about her (um, she's pretty fascinating, haters), they talked about her selfie book. Which got me to thinking about how many people hate selfies.

Selfies can be odd. They can be ugh. They can be too much. I don't enjoy an Instagram feed full of only selfies anymore than the next gal but I think there's ultimately something awesome and powerful about them. And I think, mostly, for, you know, normal humans, in the future we'll be glad we took them.

Let me explain. When I was a teenager and on into my early twenties, I hated posing for photos. If I could help it, I wouldn't let anyone take a pic of me. I thought I was too cool; my days were too kick ass to be documented. The result of this is that I only have a handful of photos from arguably the most fascinating period of my life so far. And all of those were taken by other people and are just accidentally in my possession. So, I'm usually turning away from the camera like, ugh, no paparazzi, please:

This photo was taken after a play I was in. That's why I'm wearing a jacked up wedding dress. Also, that's my adorable friend Julie. Today I would kill for a pic of us back then. I should've just done as my mom asked and smiled for the camera. (Don't tell her that.) But I didn't. I couldn't. And so I have this sad photo instead.

If I'm not full-on turned away, I'm making a face or expressing my disdain for the common practice of photo taking. Ugh, I am just way too punk rock for this pic with my little paisley shirt:

Pretty positive I couldn't even say the word "sober" when that was taken. So maybe that's why I'm actually facing the camera. Who knows? Aside from gems like these, all I have from ages 15-25 are basically headshots and pics from plays I did. When I was playing a character, not photos of normal non-made up surly little me. I wish I had real pictures from that part of my life. I wish I had pics of my friends and I smiling for the camera. I wish I had some evidence that I lived back then besides, you know, a degree or whatever and an encyclopedic knowledge of doc marten eyelets and types of maroon lipstick.

These days I try to do better. But, it's hard. When I'm having fun with a group of people, the last thing I think about is taking a photo. I try to remind myself because I know I'll want them later when I'm hella old and trying to get my nostalgia on. But the last few times I've been with my sister, Pistol, we've forgotten. And, man, if I'm with really good friends, forget about it. I never remember to Instagram it. It just doesn't even occur to me. My Instagram feed is pretty much Hogie, cocktail, graffiti, selfie, Hogie, Hogie, Hogie. But I'm determined to do better.

So, anyway, all this is a long route to declare I'm pro-selfie. I'm OK with Kim K having a book of them. I'm cool with teens taking selfies until their arms fall off. At least they're documenting their existence. At least they'll have something to look back on. And, a selfie is from your perspective. It's how you saw yourself in that moment. Its filter is the expression of your soul, man. (Ugh, sorry, LOL, but seriously my soul is frequently Brannan, dudes.) And there's something amazing and timeless about that. We all just need to remember to whip out the phone and have the waitress take a group shot every once in a while because, let's face it, when we're 90, we're not gonna care about all the pizzas we ate, we'll care about the people we knew. Well, also maybe a little bit about the pizzas.

BAM! Selfie of me writing about selfies: #nomakeup #metaasfuck

Happy Selfie-ing, my friends!


*Pic at start: 'Oooh, I just got free bright red lipgloss from Sephora' selfie