Selfies, how I hate them. Usually the work of celebrities tweeting pictures of their pouts, cleavage or themselves draped around their new beau - a flagrant 'look at me', 'how fucking wonderful am I?' Loathsome, self-congratulatory and smug and without which the Daily Fail would have less fodder each day to fill the sidebar of shame.
Smart phones (and tablets to some degree) have made the selfie so much easier. Either posed in front of the mirror to show everyone how thin you are, or doing that holding the phone above yourself thing whilst sticking your lips out like a demented duck, quick look at the photo and then blast it off to twitter, Facebook, Instagram for the world to see.
I think my last attempt at any kind of selfie would have been with a regular digital camera, where myself and a fellow drunken pals would pull a stupid face and press the button. The result would be an incredibly blurred affair that would be immediately deleted. Digital photography for all its downfalls, does at least have that blessing - no more waiting for a week for Boots to develop your hideous holiday snaps.
My biggest problem with selfies, both with celebs and non-celebs, is that I am jealous. Not of how they look (mostly they look ridiculous), but because they obviously possess a level of contentedness with how they look that I could only dream of. I am not saying they don't have hang-ups about the way they look or any body issues, but overall they are comfortable in their own skin, and many, dare I say, actually love the way they look.
I would love to be like this. I am the most camera shy person I know. Most people would love to go on television, have their photo in the newspaper - their little fifteen minutes of fame. For me this would be the worst thing ever. This is why there are so few pictures of me on my blog and my avatar is of a donkey. The thought of posing for a photo that came out half decent fills me with dread. I am the person who used to get her packet of photos from Boots and destroy any that had me in them because I felt I looked so bad.
When t'husband gets out the flip to film the kids I try and hide, shy away in the background and shoo him away with a scowl if he levels the camera at me. We have a photo on our sideboard taken last year at the in-law's house, it's a lovely photo of my husband's family. All of us together, all looking at the camera, all smiling - no mean feat with 4 small children involved. Yet, every time I look at the that picture I wince, my eyes drawn straight away to the fat, ugly blob in the white top - me. I want to throw it away.
I've always been like this, even as a kid I remember ruining a portrait of me and my sister with furniture polish (making it look like an accident of course) because I couldn't bare to look at the picture.
I know where it stems from. My own mother was like this, she would shy away from the camera and complain bitterly at any snaps that did get taken of her. I think this is confounded because I look like her, her perceived ugliness is now my perceived ugliness. However, I know I need to work this out. Try and get over it, so as not to push my insecurities and negative self image onto my beautiful daughter. I want her to be happy enough with her looks to take selfies.