All my life, I’ve been taunted by images of beauty that I never fit. Never. As in, still don’t. I find the rise of the #selfie to be a beautiful opportunity for reclamation of the multi-faceted definition of beauty by refocusing our perceptions of physical beauty to have a wider scope. It’s not about narcissism or approval of others: it’s about saying, “I may not be what you see on magazines or television, but I’m beautiful in my own right because I am a true, unique person.” It’s a return to the standard of realism, to celebrate being human. And powerful too, because it was social media that gave rise to the selfie. The selfie is a declaration of “I am worth being viewed and let me remind you why and it has nothing to do with me looking anything like covergirls/men because (in my case anyway, not yours) I don’t, but I’m still capable of being just as mystifying in my own way.” It’s a rejection of the norms we’ve quietly digested in place of self-love all these years, a renewal of self-actualizing our place in the world of art as portraits of real, beautiful unique people.
-March 1, 2014