“When you smilin’, when you smilin’
The whole world smiles with you.”
This is a recent selfie I took during a hike with my boyfriend
Taking this selfie was hard. Sharing it on social media was even harder.
When I look at this picture I see so many imperfections.
I see acne scars, lines and other random things that didn’t used to be there… I see my pale skin and red nose. I see my orange eyelashes peeking out from under my mascara.
And even if I didn’t see all those “imperfections”, taking this picture would have still been difficult for me.
The idea of taking a picture of myself makes me cringe.
Even if I feel super pretty, taking a selfie so I can show everyone how pretty I think I am makes me feel really weird. Even having someone else take a photo of me causes a full-body cringe.
More often than not, I hate the feeling of a deliberate photo. I hate posing and waiting for the camera to flash. It feels awkward and forced. I want to have photos of myself to share and to capture beautiful moments, but it’s hard for me to get past the discomfort of it.
Sometimes I am more comfortable with it, especially if I’m in a great mood. Those are the times that photos feel almost effortless, which is how I imagine others must always feel when having their picture taken. But that’s kind of rare for me.
Mostly it’s always been something I hated, and something I wished I was better at. And when I’m depressed, this feeling is even more intense.
I think a big component of depression can be struggling with your confidence.
It’s hard to feel pretty when you never have the energy to “doll yourself up” and even if you do feel pretty, actually taking a picture of yourself can feel so weird and forced. It can make you feel like a fraud. Or like you’re being childish and narcissistic. At least those are the thoughts that run through my mind when I attempt a selfie during a depression.
But you know what?
None of that is true. That’s the bullsh*t being whispered in the back of your mind by the part of yourself that doesn’t remember what it’s like to be happy, confident and full of life. It’s the part of yourself that forgot how to live, and how to love itself.
So when you point that camera at your face, it’s an act of defiance. It’s f*cking brave.
I’m glad I took that selfie.
I’m glad I captured my smile that day because it was genuine. I was having a truly happy day, in the midst of a very long depression. And it’s important to capture and hold that.
That part of myself that forgot how to live and how to love is whispering those mean lies to me even now. It’s pissed that I’m writing all of this. That part of my mind would like to convince me that I’m a self involved crazy person who overshares and embarrasses herself by writing things like this.
But screw that part of my mind. I’m done listening to it. That was a happy moment for me, and I plan to have many more. And when I do, I will defiantly capture those moments too.
Maybe you have some selfies you never shared because you were afraid or embarrassed. Maybe you never even took the selfie.
I want to challenge you: Push past the fear. Be defiant. Take that selfie. Then share it with the world. Because the world loves and appreciates you. We want to see that beautiful face of yours!
Louis said it best: When you smile, the world smiles with you.
Until Next Time,
Keep Calm and Grow On
Feeling down? This stuff might help:
- Check out my Daily Smile Series
- Here’s a few of my past articles that could be helpful: Confronting the S word, Bad Day Toolkit for Mental Health, Your Inner Antagonist, Going Deeper into Causes of Anxiety, Hello Darkness my Old Friend
- Write up a bunch of encouraging little notes, bring them to a nearby store/library/wherever, and hide them in different places for people to find. The act of reaching out and helping someone else, even if it’s not face to face, will always help to better your state of mind.
- Listen to music. I made a playlist of songs that help me a lot when I’m depressed, but obviously everyone’s music taste will be very different. You’re welcome to check it out, and if you like the whole thing that’s awesome. If you only like a couple songs, make your own YouTube playlist for when you’re sad and save them to that. Here’s mine: Music for when you’re sad
- Try watching these videos. They have helped me in the past, and maybe they can help you too: Videos to watch when you’re sad