I would never call myself pretty. There are days when I wouldn’t even consider myself average. I’m always complaining about my skin or my hair or my weight. Self-love is something I have struggled with since I was a little kid.
I hate looking at pictures of myself from parties and weddings, because they are always unflattering. They always make me think, “Fuck. Do I really look that bad?”
That is why I take so many selfies. Because I am in complete control of the lighting, the angle, and the filters. I get to decide whether I post them on social media for everyone to see or whether I will delete them from my camera roll and then again from my recently deleted folder so no one else ever glimpses them.
When I post on Instagram, it isn’t because I am some self-obsessed millennial who loves looking at herself. It’s because it’s rare for me to feel pretty. When I actually like a photograph of myself, I want to milk it for all its worth. I want the world to see it. I want to make that feeling of actually not hating myself for once last for as long as humanly possible.
I know it sounds childish, but likes make me feel better about myself. They make me feel like maybe I am not as bad as I keep telling myself late at night when my most awkward moments replay on a loop inside my head.
They create the illusion of self-love. For a little while, I get to experience what it’s like to look at myself and actually be satisfied with the result. I get to see what it feels like to say, “Maybe I am good enough after all.” The feeling might not last long, but it’s better than nothing.
I am not some stuck up bitch. I am not posting selfies because I think I am the prettiest person on the planet — but even if that was the case, what would be so wrong about that? People always say to love yourself until you actually do. They think you’re cocky if you agree with their compliments. They think you assume you’re hot stuff if you show off your body. They would rather have you feel like shit so they can play the hero and say no, no, you’re beautiful and impress you.
Of course, I realize looks aren’t the only thing that matter in the world. I am fully aware personality is a much bigger component to success and romance. I am proud of my intelligence, my humor, my accomplishments. I am hardworking and passionate. I am more than my body and more than my face. But I am not going to apologize about wanting to feel pretty. I am allowed to want that.
So let girls take a million selfies. Let girls spam their faces across Instagram. Let girls feel good about themselves for a change, because society has a reputation for making them feel like shit.