I came home one night and took a bunch of drunken selfies.
Apparently this is what I like to do when I'm too drunk to stay out, too jazzed on jaegerbombs to pass out immediately.
Hair poofed and back combed, smoky panda eyes, gel liner, (remnants of) red lipstick, a hell of a lot of other make-up that either faded off or just didn't show up in my 3am bedroom light, and pouting to high heaven.
Approximately twelve hours later I got my #nomakeupselfie nomination through.
And I balked.
It was a reaction I wasn't expecting, as I'd spent the past couple of days almost looking forward to getting a nomination, so I could get on that bandwagon and be a part of something which was turning out to be pretty extraordinary. But when the nomination actually came, I kind of backed out. I had an arsenal of excuses, pinched from the various criticisms of the campaign, ranging from how the supposed bravery of going bare faced was not comparable to the bravery required in facing cancer, to the feminist knee jerk of women being able to do much more donation-worthy things that simply not wear make-up.
Mostly I was just a bit fearful of putting my face out there without my protective layer of my Bobbi Brown longwear and my Naked palette. I mean, considering the state of my face in the selfie above, and all my other selfies, to go to a bare faced one would be quite the change.
But none of those things were the point.
Although it was a #selfie, the picture had nothing to do with me and my fears or criticisms whatsoever.
It was about joining forces and raising money for a worthwhile cause. And the selfie campaign, although causing some real controversy, raised over £8m in six days, which is pretty incredible.
Anyway, the whole thing got me thinking about selfies in general, and why on earth they seem to upset so many people. Selfies have been voted the most annoying social media habit, and they generate so much attention and criticism that they've been used in both advertising and fundraising campaigns to great success; the kind of success that something less controversial wouldn't have achieved.
But I just don't get it. What's the big deal with selfies?
Sure maybe it's vanity, narcissism, a cry for attention. But, what's wrong with a little vanity now and then? Is it really so bad?
If you read any kind of self-help text, or hear motivational speakers, or read any of those cheesy quotes that have been reblogged a million times on tumblr, there's always a message about loving/respecting/appreciating/believing in yourself, before you'll be able to love someone else or achieve your dreams, or whatever. And I think selfies are a little part of that. They're a little celebration of yourself and your appearance, which, in a world where we're being pressured to conform to someone else's beauty ideal, I think can be a good thing.
Looking in the mirror and thinking "aw man, I look good today, i'm going to take a selfie" is not a bad thing. You're allowed to think you look nice, and you're allowed to take a picture of you looking nice and post it to your instagram if you want. Well, at least I don't have a problem with that. The only issues arise when you become dependent on the number of likes on your selfies, and start equating that to your self-worth. Your selfie-worth (sorry, couldn't resist).
Maybe I think this way because I'm a selfie taker, and a selfie poster. But so are 99% of the people I follow, and enjoy following, on instagram.
I like having my IG feed full of people looking good and feeling good enough about themselves to want to take a picture of that moment. I also like the idea of me 'liking' a picture having a positive impact on someone's day, no matter how small. It's nice to be nice after all.
I just don't see the problem with selfies. Or even the problem with a little bit of vanity. If you want to celebrate your appearance, go ahead. It's got nothing to do with anyone else.
Take your selfie for your selfie* :)