#SelfieFreeSummer - My Unfiltered Life

So perhaps you remember way back in May when I posted my diatribe about selfies and the downfall of humanity. The rest of this post may seem particularly ironic, since it will be filled with selfies. But they are selfies with a purpose, y'all. They are, in truth, the end of my selfies.

In that post I also referenced this lovely selfie from Instagram, in which I pranced about au natural:

Said selfie was taken the morning of my backpacking trip (you know, the one were I almost died in the middle of the night), where I was fresh out the shower and headed out to the woods, so I had a makeup free face and hair full of ponytail frizz. 

This was a statement selfie, even though I didn't make a big deal about it at the time it was posted on Instagram. Okay, I may have hashtagged #nomakeup #nofilter, but I promise it was more to prove a point to myself than to declare any sort of pride over what I look like here.

Posting a pic of myself, of my real self, isn't something I typically ever do.

Because, let's be honest. In my selfie posting prime, this is what you could expect to see:

What is even going on in the lefthand pic? Am I an Anime cartoon? A Star Trek action figure?

Uh. I'm sorry. What? Let's do a little side by side comparison here:

Wow. Notice any striking differences? Is the girl on the left even the same person as those pics on the right? It sort of kills me that in my selfies (which, honestly, I took multiples of before posting the perfect pose), each pic was staged to highlight whatever my current idea of beauty happened to be. Skinny? Fit? Blonde? Heavily mascara'd? (it's a word, hush) Snarky? Sure. If it showed the most pleasing image of myself to the world, I posted it.

I'm not saying this is true for all selfie snapping girls and boys in the world. But it was true for me. I could blame it on many things. The thick purple scar that drew a heavy line across my right cheek as I was growing up. The endless bullying. Living through my twenties as "the fat one," and countless other things.

But the truth is, regardless of my past, my present need to be seen as somebody other than who I felt like I was on the inside is what dictated my selfie habit.

I can't really pinpoint when I decided to stop snapping and posting so many pics. At some point, it just felt silly. In part, a piece of what was broken on the inside healed after I spent six weeks in an intense round of almost daily group therapy after Dos moved out. But that's another story.

So why am I telling you all of this? It feels radically different than those filtered, make-up laden pics above. This is the real me, filter free. I'm starting my #selfiefreesummer this weekend, which includes as much time away from the mirror as possible also. I'll cover my bathroom mirror, and avoid obvious gazes into any other reflective surfaces as possible. Obviously, as my Seestah pointed out, I have to use mirrors when driving and I'll be in front of mirrors in public restrooms, and probably some other places I haven't really thought about yet. But perfection isn't what I'm looking for.

I think that's what my goal was in my selfie phase. Some perfect image of myself, some idolized idea of what I was supposed to look like.

This challenge is about being free of my outer self-image and focusing on inner-beauty and strength. It's about ignoring what I see with my eyes and listening to who I am on the inside. Along the way, I'll post pictures on Instagram of things that matter more than how much eyeliner I'm wearing, or what angle I have to hold my arms in to get the best shot of my face. Each photo will be tagged with #selfiefreesummer.

I'll be posting every Saturday through the summer with updates on how it's going and what I'm noticing. 90 days of being selfie and mirror free carries me right to my 40th birthday. A serendipitous realization made when looking at the calendar to decide when this little challenge should end. Maybe you'll join me, and post your own #selfiefreesummer pics on Instagram. I'd love to see what you're looking at that tells the story of your own unfiltered life. Feel free to grab the graphic in the sidebar and use it when posting on your own blog about your #selfiefreesummer challenge, or toss it in your sidebar. And leave me a comment, so I know to come check out your posts!

So. Let's begin, shall we?

1 comment:

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