I don’t take many selfies. Mostly because I don’t really like how I look on camera. I have an asymmetrical face – my eyebrows are not aligned. My father once told me I had a chin you could use as a start-up handle for a Volkswagen. While said in jest (apparently), it has managed to stay with me. When I smile in photos all I can see is chin. In an attempt to debiggen the chin I have developed a “camera smile”, which simply manages to look fake. So, I tend to shy away from the front end of a camera completely.
I’m actually quite adept at it. In my 13 years in eircom they only managed to capture me on camera twice. My photo appeared on my ID card (which was placed back-to-front in its holder) but not on our employee directory. When our department director decided to market our department by making a video of us each explaining our role and what we loved about the department, I scheduled a series of very important meetings for filming day so as not to be available. When our new CEO made a similar PR piece, doing a meet-and-greet through the office building trailed by a camera crew, I hid in the bathroom until they had passed our section.
The only time I use selfies is when I’m clothes shopping. I dislike clothes shopping almost as much as being on camera and am painfully slow at it. Rather than drag my poor husband around the shops I use selfies to vet purchases. If I find something I like I try it on, snap a photo and send it to him for comment. These photos are not for general consumption and are usually deleted on the same day.
But selfies are rife, to the extent that “selfie” is now a generally accepted term in our modern vernacular. And they are not just the remit of teenage girls, doing themselves up on a Saturday night and snapping themselves poising with lips pouted and hip popped. The Irish Farmers’ Journal recently ran a competition called “Selfie on the Farm“, where they asked farmers to take humorous photos of themselves. The competition went viral.
Of course, my husband thinks I’m nuts. He thinks I’m beautiful. And sometimes I even agree with him. It’s not that I think I’m unattractive – I just don’t think I look good in photos. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. While some of us are comfortable posting selfie after selfie on social media sites, others are a little more self-conscious. We think our nose is too big, our teeth too prominent, our eyes too small. Once you get self-conscious about a particular aspect of your appearance it’s the only thing you can see in a photo. Not the fantastic view or the fun that’s being had or the love that’s being shared – just the bloody big chin.
It is coincidental that this challenge should come in the week when I published my first ever selfie. It passed inspection as I’m wearing a ski mask, so all you can see are my eyes. Even at that I was tempted to “fix” my eyebrows so that they were symmetrical. I was pressed for time and so published it unedited. I did the edit later, just for fun.
I’m not sure that the ski-mask selfie sufficiently meets the requirements for the challenge so I’ve taken another with a bit more of me in it. Just for you guys. I hope you like it. Just don’t show it to anyone.