Ever since cameras became a main feature on our cell phones the enthusiasm around selfies has been increasing over time. Back in the day we used to wait days or even weeks to see what our photos looked like (unless you had a polaroid camera).
We were also less likely to capture our own images. However, now that we have front facing cameras, tripods, and amazing filters the obsession with selfies are at an all time high.
I’ve seen selfies get a really bad rap. Some people think that as a society we are too obsessed with our own images now. While others think that we invest too much energy into celebrating our physical attractiveness. I believe that just like most things in life, selfies can be good or bad for us depending on how we use them. As a body image coach I work with people who struggle with body confidence, I teach my clients how to use selfies as a tool to help them release body shame. When used with the right intentions, selfies can have a positive impact on a person’s body image. Here are a few ways in which selfies can help in the process of healing a negative body image:
Selfies Can Help You Embrace Your Flaws
We are living in the age where “flawless” is the standard. There is an overwhelming push to present yourself as flawless in every photo that you take. However, allowing your “flaws” to show through in your pictures can help you get comfortable with embracing them as well as celebrating them in front of others.
Action Challenge: Try posting a picture where you show something that you used to consider to a flaw and share something positive about it in the caption.
Selfies Can Help You Celebrate Your Uniqueness
We all know that there is the pressure in our society to conform to the mainstream definition of beauty. Your selfies can be the perfect opportunity to show off your features, that may not be considered “classically beautiful”, with pride and confidence. Showing off your unique features will affirm your own self-esteem and inspire others who may be struggling with body image or self acceptance too.
Action Challenge: Post a picture that highlights a unique feature that society may shame you for but you consider to be beautiful.
Selfies Can Help You Document Your Body Journey
If you have ever considered committing to a more loving relationship with your body, capturing selfies along the journey is a great way to document your evolution. It doesn’t have to be the typical “before and after” photos, because they can actually damage your body image even more. You can think of it as a journal project, similar to how a parent captures the images of a child as they grow and evolve through different stages. Rather than judging any of the stages as better than the other (as in before and after photos) you can use selfies to appreciate the entire journey through them all.
Action Challenge: Think of a goal that you have for your body relationship and begin documenting each stage of your body journey through photos, as you work towards your goal.
Selfies Can Help You Put You First
Sometimes as women we can easily put everyone else first and forget ourselves. We may even feel guilty focusing on ourselves. Selfies are a great way to “focus” (pun intended) on yourself. Before you’ve photographed the kids, your mate, the pets, or your new recipe, put yourself first and capture YOU. Celebrate the fact that you are important and worthy of capturing your own image. This can open the door to making more time for yourself, practicing self-care, and embracing self-love. The more you feel comfortable with putting you first, the more confident you will become in every area of your life
Action Challenge: For the next 3 days, before you photograph anything or anyone else, snap a picture of you.
Selfies Can Help You Be Okay With Imperfection
Although it sounds similar to embracing your flaws, being okay with your imperfections can be somewhat different. Think of how many times you may have primped in the mirror before getting in front of the camera. How many times have you taken 25 selfies before you choose the “perfect” one? There’s nothing wrong with any of that, but a great way to take your body image to the next level is to take a selfie without all the fuss. Taking a selfie without the perfect pose, smile or outfit can be uncomfortable sometimes. However, it’s a great way to practice self compassion and let yourself off the hook from having to be perfect all the time. Candid selfies can also help you begin to be more compassionate towards your body and help you learn how to be okay with not being physically “perfect”
Action Challenge: Choose a week and commit to taking a selfie each day at the same time and post the FIRST picture that you take. Allow yourself to be okay with any imperfections in the photo.
Never underestimate the power of a selfie. You can truly change your life by intentionally focusing on being at peace with your body and loving yourself by capturing your own image on camera. If any of the action challenges resonate with you, I encourage you to try them and have fun doing it! Also, spread the word and invite your girlfriends and tribe to join you.
On social media I am actively supporting people who are using selfies to practice body love and self-love. If you would like some support while you venture out into loving yourself through selfies, you can use the hashtag #MeMyBodyAndLove in your selfies. I will be sure to show you some love in your comments section and you may even be featured on my brand page.