*all photos kindly provided by other humans*
Oh the selfie, mocked by all treasured by few. The general consensus is that selfie taking reveals how vain a person is. You scroll through Instagram and just see endless close up faces, all taken slightly from above because we all know that is the most flattering angle. Taking selfies makes you a Kardashian, little substance just obsessed with projecting a filtered and flattering version of your face on an unsuspecting internet.
When I was looking through photos from my recent trip to New Zealand I noticed something really strange, there were photos of me. For most people this wouldn’t be something out of the ordinary but I live by myself in London. And more than that I like hanging out with myself (not a euphemism), drinking coffee with myself and going on holiday with myself. All of this means that my photos tend to be of monuments and food, not my lovely face.
I looked back over my 2014 photos (all 12,000 of them!!!) and there were maybe 10 of me, and most of those were group shots or accidently having my camera around the wrong way (#awkward). Its only going home and being around family where my life gets documented; go to a vineyard take a photo of you drinking wine, go to a beach take a photo of you on the beach, go to a cafe take a photo of you drinking coffee. I never thought it was important, after all I want to look back at places not me. But, but it is important isn’t it?
I know that I am no longer growing (lol to that I have been this short arse height since I was 13), but there are those indefinable changes that happen to you throughout your life. I want to be able to look back and see myself as that baby expat scared of getting the wrong tube and then look in the mirror and see the girl who is happy to get lost in London every day.
So short of hiring a professional paparazzi to follow me round (you can do that, seriously) I am left with the selfie. The vain ‘look at me’ picture that we all see as a tool for mockery and derision. That signifier that the person in the photo needs something bigger to think about. That way that I can see my life progressing and changing for the better.
So don’t judge me for me selfies, just think of them as a time capsule to be looked at in years to come.
Although if you have enough to make a flip book out of you may have gone a little too far…