If you search for the words “selfie and self-esteem” on the internet, the results are disturbing. It would seem that taking and sharing photos of oneself is an indicator of mental illness – in particular, body dysmorphia. Although I am no scientist, I fear the researchers are missing an important perspective.
I see taking a self-portrait as something that counteracts the ‘inner gaze’. We all have a mental picture of what we look like in our head (and what we see in the mirror) and I’m guessing that for most women over the age of thirty, it’s not a particular flattering one. By taking a photo of a moment frozen in time, we are given the opportunity to view ourselves from the outside — to contemplate the ordinary and familiar as a work of art, and a thing of unique beauty.
When I see myself on the screen (and in this photo in particular), I am astonished that what is showing up is more than just physical. Somehow, behind my eyes, beneath my skin, in the space that I occupy, there is an intangible presence. I am reminded that I don’t need any particular reason to exist, it is simply enough that I do.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
― Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
Can a photo capture someone’s essence or is it just a recording of our external form?
Camera model: Canon EOS 7D
Exposure time: 1/25 sec
ISO speed: ISO-125
Focal length: 50mm
Post processing: Photoshop Elements
Filters: Adjust saturation | Diffuse Glow 40% | Adjust levels
Overlay : French Kiss Collection Textures Tempus Fugit
Blending Mode: Multiply 76%