The power of the selfie can destroy or make an entire nation. When a person takes a selfie its like a point we are trying to prove to ourselves or at times to the world. A selfie can be a simple smile, gesture, or gaze. And at times they can be dark and worthy of a million words. Maybe we take a selfie at moments to remind us of a time or place where we are in in life, or to showcase who or what we feel in life. Just like Frida Kahlo, we use a selfie as self representation. For a form of agency for our own image. We use a selfie as an excuse for attention.
We are all a Frida Kahlo in this world of selfies.
As a person who isn’t much of a selfie taker, I make sure to capture moments in my life that I feel happy and dark, and at times somewhere in between. But when I do take a selfie I make sure it has a meaning behind it. Usually it holds a place deep in my heart, or for a cause that can bring awareness.
April second, is known as autism awareness day. It’s a day to bring light and awareness to family’s and individuals of autism. The color blue lights it up for autism. Meaning that the color blue is represented throughout the world to show awareness and bring light to the cause. My family contributes in two ways for the cause; by wearing blue and walking for autism. We also bring awareness to friends and family throughout social media. This year we choose to go through by doing selfies of our family showing off their blue. Everyone emailed their selfie as well as displayed it as their display picture, and a collage was put together. I know it’ll be great to share the picture but our family decided to keep this project to ourselves and for my niece.
Every year for autism awareness day my family and myself take it upon ourselves to wear blue and take a selfie. Its become a tradition of approximately 3 years. A tradition that is meaningful to us as well as the autism community. Although to many it might not mean much, but to my family and many other autistic families a picture of someone wearing blue is very meaningful. Also hashtags like #wearingblueforautim or #lightingitupblue come a very long way. Many more individuals are aware of the cause due to hashtags like the ones mentioned and pictures of people showing off their blue, as well as countries and states lighting historical buildings blue for the cause.
This year when taking my selfie as I wore blue in honor of my niece Aryanna and many others diagnosed with autism, I realized the true meaning behind my selfie. Yes, it was for autism awareness day, but it was also for my own form of social media attention and praise. It was selfish of my part to want likes for my picture, instead of the cause. So I took it upon my self to share a link on my bio on Instagram, as well as a link through my Facebook, alongside with my selfie. The link had information about a cite called Autism Speaks. It advocated for individuals with autism and how one can show awareness and share donations as well. My selfie along as my family’s selfie was a choice. We wore blue and lite it up for autism all around the world through social media and a lens. One shared selfie can make a difference and help others learn of the cause. This year 157 countries lite it up in blue for autism awareness. Just a reminder, “Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys.”