I Think Selfies are A-OK

9 Things to Remember about Selfies
Just went to the Rembrandt Exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam..apparently Rembrandt made almost 70 self portraits, all without a Selfie-stick!  Apparently he felt that it was crucial to capture his image over and over again, and not always from the best angle
Selfies get a bad wrap these days, they are considered to be a reflection of the narcissistic attitude that prevails in our society.   However, when we put the history and purpose of the Selfie under a microscope, we see that its been around for quite a while and its a great tool to get creative and boost our self esteem.  As a mirror of a moment in time, we can use Selfies as a vehicle for transformation and self-growth.
Selfies aren’t new.  We’ve been showing images of ourselves for thousands of years.
Throughout history, famous people have used portraits of themselves to create a brand. This is nothing new. Its only now that we are able to eliminate the middleman (the artist) and get our message across in a more succinct manner.
They are a great way to express ourselves in an nonverbal way.  A selfie catches a mood or a moment in time.  By using images, the intellectual part of the brain is by-passed and we are given access to our more creative selves.  An idea is conveyed that is beyond anything that we want to articulate.  By presenting an image, we force the viewer to drop into a subconscious part of their brain that allows them to feel and be in the moment with the Selfie-snapper in a way that only they can interpret, freeing their creative side.  
A selfie can be a shout out to yourself.  Having a great hair day?  Definitely should be recorded.  We as a society reward negative talk and frowns on vanity.  The outcome of that is negative down talk becomes a mental habit that is reinforced constantly.  In some selfies, people snap a pic because they are feeling good about themselves. This shows a spirit andconfidence that young women, the group most often posting them, tend to lack.
Context matters.  Is the person posting a selfie looking for approval or wishing to capture and share a moment?  The friend who posts million selfies on instagram or Facebook to the point of desperation is the worst case scenario.  Sometimes a recording of an instant is all that a Selfie is out to capture.
They are a collective visual diaryJust like the works of Van Gogh and Rembrandt, the Selfie not only captures the image of the person but what else is part of the time capsule of that moment.  
Body language becomes the linga franca. Across culture a smirk, a flirtatious tilt of the head, a shirtless shot from the gym are all understood immediately, reaffirming how similar the human condition is no matter where the Selfie is taken.
Legitimizes How we spend our time. “Look how busy I am, look how I spent my day, look who I’m with and what I’ve got or don’t got”  A Selfie gives how we spend our time some value We become our own interlocutor figure Traditional in Dutch Old Master paintings was a figure within a group of people whose intense gaze into the outside world, was specifically there to draw the viewer in.  Now our own connection to the lens is an invitation to enter our world, to draw that person into our surroundings.  
Selfies help us to balance our Throat ChakrasQuite often we hesitate to express ourselves verbally, we hesitate to show the outer world our inner world. This can be due to an imbalance of the throat chakra.  It is noted that some of the most creative people suffer from throat chakra issues, and that their artistic medium is the only way they can get the world to see who they really are.  Selfies again allow us to express ourselves in a creative way that may help to articulate thoughts and emotions more readily
So Selfies shouldn't be sold short.  They have a place in the modern world and are here to stay with its own trending rules and boundaries. Selfies validate the need to be seen and simply the need to be.  Selfies are a way to capture ourselves in this moment, so face that camera guilt-free!

Francesca Ter Poorten