In 2013, the "selfie" was born.
Sure there were selfies around when cameras were first invented. But in 2013 it was revitalized and pumped full of steroids. People became creative. Even in the first few days of 2014, the Selfie Olympics were conceived out of nowhere.
(I'm 100% jealous of 100% of the Selfie Olympics because the best I can do is still take pictures of my food looking better than your food from Taco Bell.)
Selfies with your friends. Selfies with your dog. Selfies at work.
Selfies behind the wheel (DANGEROUS). Selfies at a funeral (AWKWARD).
Articles about how this generation is selfish, vain and obsessed with selfies.
Selfies. Selfies. Selfies. Selfies. Selfies.
So why am I writing about this now?
Because as I was building my slideshow for Instagram of the selfies I took in 2013, I realized something.
I rarely take selfies. I think I had under 20 pictures that I took of myself over the entire year.
Now. Let's all hold hands through the screen for a moment and get into the honesty circle.
I battled severe depression when I was in high school.
I was insecure about my looks, my life, my intelligence, my everything etc.
I wouldn't look in the mirror for days...then weeks..then months. I didn't care at all about my physical appearance because outside (thanks bullies and society!) and inner voices were telling me that I shouldn't like what I see in the mirror. That whatever was in the mirror wasn't worth to be seen. Don't look in the mirror because it'll crack, birds will fall from the sky, and babies will cry.
With that flashback in my mind, on New Year's Eve I thought about myself in 2013.
Do I still suffer from insecurities and self doubt? Yes.
Did I still have those voices in my head? Yes.
Were they still controlling my actions? Yes.
As I watched Perry Mason build his case for his client and the clock struck midnight, I knew what I wanted to focus on in 2014.
I know it's cliche and it's been done many times. But I've never done that. I've never focused on loving the physical me. 2013 was about being healthier and more active. My entire reason for that was my asthma was being triggered more by allergies and I couldn't make it through a Beyonce´dance number without getting terribly winded. By the end of the year I actually felt healthier and was more active than I've been in a very long time. So I accomplished my resolution!
But looking back I still wasn't loving and accepting the physical part of who I am. I still wasn't really looking at myself in the mirror. I still wasn't paying attention to how I looked. I still wasn't really caring about my body.
There's always been the societal challenge of getting females, especially females of color, to be represented in beauty products, fashion and style, and strong and true characters and idols. We often get the stigma of being loud, angry at the world, common, and uneducated. Our hair is rejected. Our skin is rejected. Our culture is stolen. It's a lot to make you turn around and think, "What's the point?"
Whether it was the media, celebrities, friends, foes, society, or myself telling me that I needed to change something about my body, I listened. I listened and subconsciously believed that I wasn't beautiful.
Seeing all of these people on Facebook and Instagram show off their faces with honor and pride was a wake up call.
I need that.
I need to love myself with pride and honor. I need to look myself in the mirror and see how beautiful I am.
I need to put on Beyonce´, Janelle Monae´, and Whitney Houston and just feel like a flawless electric lady queen of the night that I am.
(I really hope you see what I did there.)
So my resolution for 2014 was to take more selfies.
However it goes beyond that.
It goes underneath the selfie picture that's on Instagram with a filter.
It's the frustrated about my job selfie. It's about the I have a great new shirt selfie. It's the obligatory bathroom selfie. It's the I don't know what's going on with my life but I'm still here fighting the good fight selfie.
It's about accepting me and loving me in whatever form it comes in.
So I'm going to do it. I'm going to take selfies all year long to remind myself how beautiful and fabulous I am.
Because I always have been.
I just didn't believe it.