Click! “This photo won’t get any likes.” These thoughts run through your head before you even take a picture.
But is it worth it to appear perfect? What’s the point?
History says that in 1839, a Philadelphia photographer named Robert Cornelius was the first person to take a selfie. His method was to remove the lens cap and run into the frame.
Mind you, there was no such thing as a social network at that time, so why did he take a selfie if he couldn’t share it with everybody? His purpose was simply photographic innovation.
Selfies can be fun until they hit another person’s eyes and someone starts to criticize the flaws in you, not the photo. When people say a photo is ugly, what they really mean is that your hair is not “done” or your facial expression looks “boring,” “stupid,” or “aggy.”
Many teen girls are pressured into looking great before they take a selfie. They have to get their hair fixed, moisten their lips, and make sure they have good makeup. It’s all based on looks, but what about her personality?
The song “#Selfie” by The Chainsmokers describes what many girls think before and after they take a selfie.
“I only got 10 likes in the last 5 minutes/Do you think I should take it down? Let me take another selfie!” and “That girl is such a fake model/She definitely bought all her Instagram followers.”
What caused them to think this way? Judgmental comments that people made about their appearance, of course. It’s a vicious cycle that selfies have caused in the modern day. She calls you ugly, and then you feel ugly, so then you want other people to feel ugly.
Yeah, you get the picture.
If you want to take a selfie, do it. Don’t let anyone stop you from posting a photo that you want to show the world.
This essay was written by a participant of the Teen Voices Rising program of WriteBoston. It first appeared in the publication Teens in Print.