Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

31 December 2013

#365FeministSelfie -- Are you in?

When Jezebel posted a ridiculous piece about selfies being a "call for help," I was well aware that the selfie was under attack from other parts to society. A few days ago the amazing Nina Garcia, of Marie Claire & Project Runway, shared an infographic over Twitter about selfies making us more narcissistic. President Obama looked like he got in trouble over a selfie. Selfie is the word of the year. The funeral selfie apparently is the worst we can get. 

But what about positive selfies?

Yesterday I saw a mom and her maybe-5yo-daughter taking a selfie. They were making silly faces and snapping pics. Those were memories being made, moments of love that both will likely remember forever. I take those with Ella for the same reason - we are marking a moment in time.

Then there are the countless pieces that claimed some selfies as feminist - WOC rarely see themselves reflected in media, people over a size 4 are told to hide themselves, transgender persons want to be seen...hell, a lot of people responded to anti-selfie moments by saying, "I do not see myself represented in the media, so I'm making my own!" Also Jamie Nesbitt Golden (@thewayoftheid) and Kate Averett (@convergecollide) started the #feministselfie hash tag that this project builds on.

And if you had told me that I'd be quoting James Franco, I would had laughed, but I am...His NYTimes op-ed on selfies is full of gems:
Attention is power.

Of course, the self-portrait is an easy target for charges of self-involvement, but, in a visual culture, the selfie quickly and easily shows, not tells, how you’re feeling, where you are, what you’re doing.

In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, “Hello, this is me.”
All of this ruminating on selfies came at not only the end of the year, but my birthday was on the 28th. In 2008 I participated in a 365 project. That was something I needed to; I just didn't know it then. The hardest part of being in the media is dealing with your own image. I use to hate how I sounded, then I did a lot of radio and I listened to it. I hated how I looked on TV, but I did that and felt more comfortable. And the same for photos. After that 365 project, I don't love how I look, but I am far more comfortable saying, "I look good today. I look good in this outfit." This has helped immensely as I have gained a lot of weight during the stress of graduate school.

For 2014, I started a #365FeministSelfie group on Flickr and am inviting you to join. And if you aren't on Flickr, just use the hashtag #365FeministSelfie every day on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

So are you in? I hope so.

Edited to add: I am getting feedback that a daily selfie is too overwhelming for many to even imagine, so I am suggesting you go with weeklies. Maybe you'll get hooked and go for dailies! Do what you can, but remember the photos are about the real you. They aren't supposed to be the glam-you (although those are welcomed). I say more below...

Edited to add: Fear. When I mentioned this to one of my besties, she mentioned fear as one reason she's never tried to tackle a 365 challenge. And yes, that's the foundation of this challenge. Conquer that fear of seeing yourself every.single.day. We might look at ourselves to put our contacts in, even make-up on, but taking a selfie and posting it means REALLY looking at yourself. And hopefully at the end (or much sooner!) you will find it less painful and more enjoyable. I don't want to turn us into Paris Hiltons, but rather individuals who don't cringe when we need to take a photo.

Jeni at Joy and Woe is finishing up her own 365 challenge and has a list of tips on how to get through your own. Thanks, Jeni!

Libby at Moments in my Head has some excellent points about posting photos of ones self as an expression of self-love. She asks us why shouldn't we share photos of us as we experience happiness?

I get asked how I do it all...a lot. I hope that sharing photos when I am exhausted and crying will help shatter any myth that I do it all...or at least gracefully.

30 comments:

I really like this idea. I may do it and post them on facebook, but don't think I would on twitter. While I wouldn't say that I never post pictures of myself on twitter, I do keep my identity partially obscured there and think daily selfies would change that. On facebook, with a limited number of friends, I'd feel safer about it.

Veronica! Great post. I thought the very same thing about the Jezebel post and in fact, was going to reference it on my latest post, but forgot. Take a look. I'm going to add a link to this post on it.

http://momentsinmyhead.com/2013/12/31/the-beauty-and-taboo-of-self-love/

Thanks for the perspective. I never thought about it that way. Maybe I'll do a few selfies.

Love love love this and am excited to participate!

Excited to see this project evolve. I think it's great to change the stigma around selfies and turn them into empowerment. We don't always look perfect, and neither should our photos. I also love the "creation of memories" idea.

OMJ I am all about this! Deffo into this and here is the blog I will do for it www.365daysoflilipop.tumblr.com

I came here via The Mamafesto and I'm in! (http://followgram.me/michelletarno/)

Ok, I am so in. I'm 35 weeks pregnant now and I am sure that there will be a long winter of hiding out and avoiding mirrors... but I don't know that that's what I want. Not when I know my story is about showing up. Already so excited to have windows into so many amazing women's lives thanks to following everyone who has used the hashtag on Instagram!

I'm in! & I'm blogging about it on www.spokesmama.com starting tomorrow. :)

I love this. I am a selfie queen. I am so in. ;)

I started doing selfies for 365days in 2007. I am thrilled to now do so from a feminist perspective. I'm going to tell my sixteen year old feminist daughter, too. HOORAY FOR EMPOWERING SELFIES! I popped over to the flickr group. So eclectic! Brava, all!

I'm in. Me and my size 8 self deserve some screen time. awesome !

I'm in. I am on a journey to become a healthier me, physically and emotionally. I am looking to get in shape and I am getting married to the love of my life this year. 2014 is going to be an adventure of epic purportions and I want to chronicle this!

Love this. I'm totally in. :)

I really like this. I'm tired of reading articles about what one can and cannot do on social media. The other day, I read that I can no longer say "totes" or "adorbs" because I am over 30. And now selfies are a cry for help? That right there puts the dick in ridiculous.

I may be in. I have tech issues - as in I'm no good, lol. I have self image issues, too. Selfies would be good for me.

What if you made it #365FemSelfie? shorter hastag, easier to add a little story on twitter... just a thought. The easier the hastag, the better!

Selfies changed my whole world. http://www.pghlesbian.com/2014/01/how-the-selfie-transformed-my-world/

I love this! A few months ago I started a vlog as a supplement to my blog. When I started to feel like, crap and felt like I looked like crap ...I stopped. After reading this ...I am going to take on this challenge. And who knows maybe it will propel me back into my vlog.

Go Karen! I've had the same issue with diving into vlogging. Plus I don't want to spend time editing a video. But I would like to work on one-take vlogs.

Very exciting reinforcement to my decision to participate - I won a one year subscription to Bitch Magazine on Instagram. Wow!

http://www.pghlesbian.com/2014/01/my-selfie-won-a-one-year-subscription-to-bitch-magazine/

I didn't find out until recently that the #365feministselfie originated with you. What inspired me to face the selfie challenge was this article by Amanda Magee: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amanda-magee/self-easy-turning-40_b_4681772.html

Facing 40 (in April) and standing at a crossroads in my life has more than prompted me to try to be easier on myself and appreciate who I am.

Thank you for feeding this 365 feminist inspiration. While some may find a daily selfie too daunting (and I can certainly appreciate why), I am ready to prove to myself that I deserve to love myself every day enough to take the time to #365feministselfie!

Keep it real and stay strong ladies!

Thanks Dena! I'm also turning 40 this year. Most days I'm ok with it, others I'm freaked out like nothing else.

I should note to future commenters, that my blog is set to NOT auto post comments after a post is a month old. If you are leaving a legit comment, I'll publish it soon. This trick is to help with spammers.

I am so glad I found you and this project. I've learned that my face isn't as bad as I used to think and that everyone is beautiful. xo

I came across this hashtag the other day and decided I HAD to participate. Thank you so much for kicking it off. I've recruited my best friend and blogged about it here: http://reneempowers.com/?p=107

I'd seen the #365FeministSelfie hashtag around all year, but somehow missed the original post. It's interesting to stumble on it now and see where it came from. I really love the idea of posting "normal" images to counteract all the unrealistic, and usually white-skinned, glossy perfection we see out there. So there is something great in the spirit of this.

But...I do admit I cringe at the notion, which I hear a lot, that this project and others like it are necessarily empowering. Some of us don't ever get used to the way we look in photos, no matter how many we take or what we tag them with. Not because we lack the ability to see our own beauty, but because we are frankly not beautiful.The idea that we must all convince ourselves of our own beauty if we possess that beauty or not is odd to me. And I don't think that contradicts the wonderful message that you should be kind to yourself. I am not beautiful. I am still wonderful. I still love myself. Because one does not have to be beautiful to be worth loving.