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I guess you were in for #365FeministSelfie

A year ago I had a silly idea for a personal blogging goal. As I do with some of my posts, I added a "How about you?" at the end in an attempt to start a conversation. But in the era of social media, I knew that most conversation about a blog post happens on social media and not the comments section, so I didn't think much about it. I scheduled the post and waited.

OK, I figured that a few friends would humor me and do it for a day or two. I never set up any systemic way to track how often the hashtag was used on any platform because I honest to gawd thought it would peter away. Now I get people asking me to give metrics on how many people, who are they, how old are they, where do they live? I did create a census form for participants, but I know it undercounts (yes, it is still open!). It is hard to get all those answers, but really it does not matter how many people joined in on my silly idea. What matters is that they did and in that we created a new community.

Some people posted on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, and Facebook. Some in all the above. On Facebook there was a private group that one amazing woman, Cara, started for her and friends to participate in private. Soon they invited others and I stumbled onto it. In all of these venues I have been privy to conversations about women (one thing I do know is that most participants identify as women) coming to terms with their bodies, going through pregnancy (I have lost count of how many babies were born this year), new jobs, opportunities lost (ahem, phd), tackling traumas like death, divorce and continuing to deal with being a birth mother. We have laughed, cried, and yawned through the mundane daily life moments. We know what each other's kids look like and some of our partners too.

I will be honest (cause I can't be anything else with this project) that I was not prepared for the emotions of writing this last post. I was not prepared for the finality of "Day 365" and am glad I haven't taken that selfie yet. It was about in October when people really started to ask what would happen on January 1, 2015. Would we go on?

My immediate reaction was no. The project was set up for a year and that is all it is meant for. Let's get one thing straight, while I did create the hashtag, I do not feel like its owner. We all own it in some fashion. Viral things are hard to hold. But it is my baby so there's that. It's a paradox.

So what are we to do on January 1, 2015?

For some people the project will be over. I know for them it was a challenge to do the project and they need it to be done.

For others, the community is too strong to let this project slide to 100% transparency. So it will continue on. Not just for the community, but a lot of people did not join on January 1, 2014 and want to get through 365 selfies! SO HELL YEAH FOR THEM!

There are also a few retreats or mini-conferences in the works, so keep an eye out for info on that so we can take one hell of an epic selfie together. 

And I am working on a book proposal about this project. Yes, there will be a call for submissions as I see the book being part anthology. 

#365FEMINISTSELFIE WILL LIVE ON!

I can't promise to take a selfie every day, but when I do, it'll have the hash tag on it. I have a few people who want to help me shepherd this baby along, so keep an eye out for my deputies.

Lastly, thank you. Thank you for everyone who participated. Especially you die-hards who actually did it every single day. Thank you to everyone who tolerated our faces every day in your social media feed. Who posed with us as we took our selfie for the day.

If you want to be one of the #365FeministSelfie deputies, please leave a comment or email me a note. Let's work on the plan together. 

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thank you, thank you, thank you for challenging us! I was such a big fan of this idea from the beginning and my only regret is that my health kept me from being as engaged as I would have liked... but hey, that's just one more reason to make up for lost time in 2015! I'd definitely like to hear more about your call for deputies; I'd love to help in any way that I can!
Mel Gallant said…
Veronica, this photo challenge was so awesome to be a part of. Thank you for your encouragement. I am proud to have participated and grateful for the opportunity to meet so many incredible women through it.

Not sure I'll be posting a photo every day in 2015 but I'll definitely be following along!
Jasie said…
I recently proposed a paper for the Popular Culture/American Culture Association Conference (which I hope will turn into a dissertation chapter) about selfies as a form of feminist cultural resistance. I just now stumbled upon this project, and I am flipping out! I'm so excited to see more of these awesome feminist selfies, and I would LOVE to be involved further in the project! Let me know how I can help!
I didn't participate every day but I loved being part of the movement and I thank you for creating something so special and empowering. Looking forward to another year of feminist selfies!

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