Selfies, Narcissism, and now I’m even Following myself?

First of all, while I posted a link to a blog entry from “Bookshelf of Emily J,” I could easily have posted several. So I’m going to mention another entry I enjoyed this morning, in which she reviews her “literary sin” of liking Sophia Kinsella’s Shopoholic books.  Why not, they’re fun reads?  It’s kind of amusing that she refers to it that way, like a guilty pleasure.  And we all have guilty pleasures…

So, one of my newer (and by newer I mean in the past couple of years) faults has been a tendency to take “selfies.”  Groan.  The dreaded “selfie.”  I don’t do the full-body, in the mirror and you can see my cell phone camera, mine are usually close ups, taken from angles I find more “favorable.”  Annoying, right?  So why do I do it?

First of all, for every “good” photo I take, there are plenty of “bad” photos.  I keep most of them, too.  The angles that are less favorable.  The things I’m not overly fond of seeing in myself.  But I don’t tend to throw them on social media, because I’m not that honest…

Last week, I made a “public service announcement” video at work.  We all did… it’s some new project to try to build connections between the department and the rest of the college.  Mine, which I wrote myself, was about when to use the non-emergency phone line.

I’ve been told it was good, it was natural, etc.  But I couldn’t watch more than a few seconds of it.  Do I really look that goofy?  I look almost spastic… Oh, thank God, they’re cutting to a screen where they are showing the phone number… 

a pink rose bud
Here. Here’s a pretty flower bud to distract you…

Today they came in to film footage of the front desk in action.  We have an intern who was there today, and she had a giggle or two as well about how weird it felt to do things like answer the phone on camera.  Apparently the camera picks up every last flaw and imperfection.  It made me think of how strange our own voices sound to us when we hear them played back on audio recordings…

As I was pondering all of these things, I stopped to think about my obnoxious habit of taking self-portraits.  I realized that until I started doing so, I had very few pictures of myself, and I intensely disliked most of them.  It was only a few years ago that I started the annoying habit, and actually learned to like (gasp!) some of my own self-portraits.

There is good and bad in everyone.  We all have angles where we look absolutely beautiful, and others in which we look atrocious.  I’m not just talking about the exterior appearances here.  For most of my life, I’ve found it easier to see the bad angles.  I’ve always felt that, for all my hard work, I’ve copped out on most things without “completing” them.  Maybe I’m a bit of a perfectionist about some things, or maybe the truth is that I can often be lazy, but if there were a club for quitters, I’d be a charter member up until the moment I dropped out.

As a kid, I quit piano, Girl Scouts (no regrets!) and violin class, among other things.  Naturally, I always focused on the things I “failed” rather than the successes.

Taking selfies started at a point in my life when I decided to see the entire truth.  Part of seeing that truth was learning to love myself, warts and all.

frog sits on a chair
How can you NOT like this warty thing?

I continue taking photos of myself, just as I photograph everything around me, to remind myself that I have good and bad angles, and to appreciate both. Sometimes it’s the ugly parts of ourselves that help us survive.

As for following myself, that’s purely an accident, because I have so many ways of logging into the page.  Probably too many.  Either a sign of flexibility in dealing with what may come, or a sign of my internet obsession.  Somehow when I was logging in, I clicked the “follow” button on my own blog page.

Ah well, I suppose the only real down side to this “following myself” bit is that when I make edits to add links that I’ve forgotten to include, I have to give myself permission.  Silly WordPress…

If I’m following myself, am I really just going around in circles?  I guess I’ll have to stop if I get dizzy.


4 thoughts on “Selfies, Narcissism, and now I’m even Following myself?

  1. Hi Kate!
    Don’t tell anyone but yours is the only blog I read! Shhh…
    First of all – I love it. Keep it up.
    If I may, a few comments and suggestions?
    That rose bud photo – I’d let the caption end after the words, ‘distract you…’ It’s good enough there and NOT self-deprecating.
    Oh, but I love your admission of guilty pleasures, as well as your self-questioning, including, ‘So why do I do it?’ It’s engaging and personal and honest and raw – words from an open heart. Nice…
    Regarding the copping out on things? On a personal note, I don’t know you but it doesn’t feel like you’re a cop-out to me. I know because I’ve used those same words and more. May I suggest some more introspection? More self-awareness and self-examination?
    I don’t believe there’s any bad in any of us – just misunderstood stuff leading to confusion.
    I used to think like your words are trying to describe. I used to think i was a loser. I was so incorrect. And very confused. We can discuss it further, if you want but in the meantime, I suggest looking deeper for your beauty because it’s there, inside you. I like the idea of self-love. I believe strongly in self-love.
    I find it very interesting, indeed that you chose to angle your words around selfies and self-portraits – very Freudian.
    Lastly, I don’t understand the bit about following yourself… obviously, it has something to do with the mechanics of running a blog.


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