Why are you so bothered by me taking selfies?

I don’t get the hate around selfies or why people feel the need to criticise others, usually women, for taking selfies. It has made me feel ashamed, embarrassed and deeply misunderstood when people have criticised me for uploading selfies to my social media pages. Being lumped into categories such as vain and narcissistic based on a harmless activity is really painful. I wonder if they have ever stopped to think why some people like taking selfies.

Some of us were never made to feel like we were beautiful and for that reason our existence isn’t as valid as people who are deemed to be attractive. Some of us have been really bullied and abused for the way we look. People aren’t happy unless your “ugliness” makes you as uncomfortable as it makes them. Being an average looking woman is hard. Women are expected to be the pretty ones. As a woman, you hardly ever get away with being average looking. You especially can’t get away with being comfortable in your own skin when you are not what society deems as acceptable.

Some of us have body image issues that prevent us from liking ourselves even just a little bit. Sometimes it makes us really distressed and literally hate ourselves. It can stop us from being intimate with our partner because we are so ashamed of how we look. Sometimes it’s on our minds even when we are happy and you get intrusive thoughts like “maybe I’d be happier if I was pretty.”

So why begrudge someone a split second where they feel almost pretty? Who cares if it’s a good filter or a deceptive angle? Aren’t we allowed to have one moment of “I’m okay with how I look” when YOU get to feel that on a regular basis? Doesn’t seem fair to me…especially when it affects you in no way at all.

On the flip side (and unfortunately something I am yet to experience personally), some of us are really happy with the way we look and enjoy taking photos of ourselves. Some of us enjoy sharing selfies on social media and seeing selfies other people have shared. You can’t parrot ridiculous phrases such as “confidence is the most attractive thing in a woman” or “how can someone love you if you don’t love yourself” only to berate a woman for being comfortable in her own skin and loving herself.

You are allowed to dislike selfies and selfie culture. You are allow to have an opinion. What you are not allowed to do it use your “free speech” to invade someone else’s space and make them feel bad for doing something completely harmless. Let people do stuff that makes them feel good about themselves. Life is hard, don’t make it any harder.