The Selfie

Hey yall, what’s Gucci? I’m over here acting bad and boogie at Starbucks in Sandton City. People always be acting either hipster or “VerySeriousIgotacreativemeeting” type of vibes. So I’m over here too, trying to create a role for myself in both categories, sipping on some Rooibos Tea Latte, because I recently found out that on top of hating the taste of coffee, it also gives me major heart palpitations, so…yeah ^^

I am also slowly emerging from a mid-week slump caused by an unexpected rejection, healing myself through writing, episodes of Grown-ish and – once I could stomach it – roasting myself about my current tribulations.

I guess today, or maybe every time I make the decision to write, I am choosing to heal myself through writing?

Today I wanted to talk about the selfie. Perhaps it’s more than just the selfie…

A few months ago, I decided to follow a colleague on Instagram. I randomly fell on his page, clicked follow and decided I would tease him about his pictures the next time I saw him. Considering the funny colleague, it was going to turn into a fun roasting session. When I saw him and demanded an explanation for why I hadn’t been followed back, he jokingly replied that;

  1. He didn’t really use Instagram, it was for my generation of millennials (eyes rolled over and over again)

  2. My boojie (he didn’t really use that word but it was the general gist of it lol) narcissistic selfies and pictures didn’t need him to follow me on the gram. “So many pictures of yourself”

My jaw dropped in shock, yet I remained amused, because I knew he didn’t mean it in a hurtful way at all. Still, It got me thinking of a few questions.

My number one remark was this one: Every single time I have taken a selfie of just myself I have felt uncomfortable taking the selfie and posting it. Like, very uncomfortable, asking myself existential type questions, uncomfortable. Why am I taking a picture of myself? Is it narcissistic? Could I be putting my time to better use instead of sitting there, being self-absorbed, wasting time, choosing and confusing a hundred shots that all look very similar? This remark came to me, I realized, because what my colleague had said to me was the very thing I feared would be thought by those seeing my selfies.

For months, It remained just that. My discomfort. A discomfort that didn’t aim at making itself understood by myself.

Last month, I finished listening to Shonda Rhimes' book, Year of Yes. In it, she questions women’s discomfort with celebrating themselves (which included talking highly about oneself and accepting complements). She would be learning to do just that: Celebrating her damn self, over and over again, until it felt less and less uncomfortable. Randomly you may think, I thought about my selfies. Many a time, I had taken a selfie because I thought I looked pretty good and I needed to immortalize the moment. That is not always the reason behind a selfie. But many times, it is.

  • “Bishhhh you be looking good, you poppin!’” She said to herself before angling the phone up, for a series of selfies.

The discomfort lay in the fact that the world around me seemed to tell me it was not alright to toot my own horn (hence the expression “not to toot my own horn but…”). It’s better to receive a compliment than give one to myself. My selfie seemed to be saying “I think I look good” or worse “I am celebrating looks instead of brains”, in a world where it seemed to be a forbidden act, to celebrate me, essspeciallllyyyy if I was about to express something as futile as “I look good”.

And then Drake’s song (which I am ironically listening to right now-on repeat), Nice for What reminds me to “get them angles”, it’s a short life!

You see, the selfie can be a celebration of oneself. What harm does that do, apart from giving you a boost of confidence when you’re walking out? When you feel that you look good, you step out with more confidence right? It has nothing to do with neglecting brains, being conceited or narcissistic. With the selfie:


We live in a world where we are encouraged to be confident, but seemingly as soon as we show signs of “too much confidence” it’s like… bishhh who does she think she is? With her useless selfies!

A selfie can be more than a selfie. It can mean encouragement to yourself, sharing your poppin’ highlight, liking your hair, your smile, it can be somebody else’s visual pleasure (in a not creepy way lol ), it can symbolize an alignment to a movement that needs more exposure... Or it can be just that. #Noteverydayforareason #somedaysjustseflfie!

Let’s post our selfies in peace people! You better work girl! Sebenzaaa!

Until next time!




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