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Snap Me: Generation Selfie

It is always a joy to get out in NYC and create some awesome art.  With this session we decided that it was time to send a little message to all of the Selfie Haters out there.

Now of course, these images are not self portraits, I took them, but the point remains the same.  The haters need to step off women who post and are proud to share pictures of themselves. When did we decide it was ok to hate on those who celebrate themselves, who are proud of how they look? How in the world, with all of the judgement we face on a daily basis, did it become ok to judge other women for actually being ok with themselves?

Let’s talk about this for a second.

In a generation where we are constantly accosted by a media and entertainment industry that sets insane and unrealistic standards for every day beauty, we need to celebrate our fellow sisters who are out there taking pride in themselves.

 

we need to celebrate our fellow sisters who are out there taking pride in themselves

I think that writer Molly Fosco for her article on selfies for the Huffington Post says it best:

“I’ve heard the criticism that my generation expects too much out of life because many of us are the product of positive reinforcement as a parenting technique. Our parents told us “you can do anything,” “you can be anything you want to be,” “you’re special.” So when we get to our late twenties and we’re still working at a job that has nothing to do with our college major or whatever prolific calling we thought we were going to fulfill by now, we become dejected and frustrated. We feel like we’re not doing enough, we feel like there’s so much more out there we’re meant to do and be. So where do we look to find that fulfillment and self-worth? Yep you guessed it — the good ol’ interwebs.

Not only are we reading content that gives us a good feeling about ourselves, we’re creating it too. The harshly judged practice of self picture taking, while perhaps excessive or annoying at times, can actually be a really simple way to feel really good about yourself. Dove is a company known for campaigning to raise self esteem among young women so that they don’t get sucked into the objectification that media often bestows upon them. In one of their recent videos aptly titled “Selfie,” they use the practice of silly self picture taking as a medium to help young women really see their beauty and self worth in a very honest way. Although our selfies might be veiled in narcissism, self-obsession or boastfulness I think that for many it’s a genuine attempt to boost self esteem. Seeing a close up picture of your own face and willingly showing it to thousands of people with one click is a form of self-confidence that I don’t think should be quickly dismissed. It’s taking a risk and opening the door to criticism but hoping for positive reinforcement and love… It wasn’t wrong for our parents to tell us we’re special. If you believe you’re meant to do great things in this world then you’re going to be much more likely to actually do them. But first you have to find out what it is you really want to do! And if taking selfies and looking at baby animals online helps inspire you then why the hell not?”

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Annnnd because how could I NOT include a selfie – here is my favorite Behind-The-Scenes Selfie from this shoot:

A Year Of Self-Acceptance

I wrote a little bit about this on my facebook this morning, but the end of the year is always a very reflective time for me. Yes I fully blame it on the commercialization of New Years Eve and the concept of New Years Resolutions…but in this case I am glad for the yearly reminder to be introspective. I find it super important to take this time every year and look back on both my growth and the areas where I still want to grow as a person.  I have realized that 2015 was a huge tipping point for me. It was the year that I finally decided to listen to myself, to take my own advice and to give myself permission to surround myself with love and cast negativity and negative people aside.

It is a hard choice sometimes, realizing that people or things or thoughts that you had once found comfort in, might be the exact things that are stunting your personal growth. It is the minute that you give yourself permission to put yourself on the list of things that matter. It is when you really start to notice the things, thoughts, people, in your life that are toxic, that Self Love can really start to happen.  This was hard for me this year, very, very hard. I have always been a people pleaser, the girl who will make fun of herself in a room full of people just because she is too uncomfortable in her own skin to just “be”, so she resorts to self-deprecating humor to break the silence in a room. I never thought of cracking jokes about myself as a bad thing, until I started to wake up in the morning and really believe those things about myself.

In 2015 I learned it is not ok to put myself down. It is not ok to let others put me down. Joking or not, I have to accept the responsibility, that every time I make a fat joke, the beautiful woman I am believes a little bit less that she is beautiful. I have to accept that sometimes when I look in the mirror it is going to be a battle of forcing myself to face that woman, to stare her in the eyes, and tell her that it is all ok, and that she is beautiful and to believe it.  It is hard work. It is such ridiculously hard work to love yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.  You don’t just wake up one day and believe in yourself. No, loving yourself takes hard work, it takes constant communication with your heart and spirit, it takes learning to quiet the negative voices in your head, and learning to tune out the negative voices around you. It is hard work to decide when a relationship in your life does not serve you or make you happy. It is hard work to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you deserve happiness.

Today’s #LRPBoudieBeauty is a beautiful woman, with an amazing family, who deserves to know she is beautiful, and I am proud that today, I was able to show her that she is.

It is hard fucking work ladies. Let me repeat myself. It is hard fucking work to accept yourself…and it is even harder work to love yourself.

But there is no work in the world that is more important.

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Yes. That is me. Yes, I am allowed to talk positively about myself.

 I think the pillow say’s it all. “Talk is Cheap”. So here I am facing the camera, and doing just a little bit more than talking today. They may not be the most technically perfect Self-Portraits ever, but they are me, they are beautiful and I am proud to share this side of myself with you.

My goals for 2016 are to share more of myself, to look in the mirror more often and remind myself that I am worth it, to keep the toxic people and thoughts at bay, to cut back on the self deprecating humor, and to share my voice and philosophies with as many women as I can next year.

What are your Self-Love New Years Resolutions for 2016?