Well, sort of.
That is somewhat a lie. If you look at my Instagram, you will see my face a bit, in two photos with my boyfriend’s dog, and in a video with one of my cats rubbing against my face. This is because these posts had a purpose other than look, it’s me.
But, if you scroll, you’ll find the last selfie was two weeks ago. Beneath that, you will find selfie after selfie after selfie. They have dwindled as time has passed, because I have secretly become disgusted with them. The last straw, I think, was when I went to do the Best 9 Photos of 2015 thing, and all I saw was myself. I try to respect my friends by respecting their wishes of not wanting to have any part of social media, which is why you see me doing things alone on the Internet a lot more than with others, but a feed full of myself makes me feel really gross, even if it has served as a marketing tactic for my books in the past.
I was at Barnes and Noble recently, just after that last selfie on my Instagram was posted, taking what’s known as a “shelfie” with my coffee and earphones blah blah. It was cute but I didn’t post it. I didn’t post it because when I took the photo, standing behind me was a fellow book nerd that I didn’t see until after I took the photo, probably thinking I was one of those girls who only cared about how she looks and doesn’t have any real interest or intelligence, or maybe someone who doesn’t even read, and it made me feel really bad about myself.
I realize there is a stigma on selfies and not everyone who takes them fits the stereotypical mold, but that’s how I felt about myself, and I’d had enough. I’ve said I was gonna stop taking selfies before, and I did anyway, because of whatever; I don’t even know the reason. And I’m not saying I’m going to stop taking them because I want to be better than other people. I really just don’t want to see so much of my face anymore. I’m not a model or an actress; I’m a writer. No one needs to see me. And I don’t even believe it is about self love or whatever else. Maybe I did once upon a time because I was making excuses but that’s changed so much for me. If it was about self love then we can very well love ourselves in the mirror when we leave for the house in the morning. That is self love, to me. Posting something that everyone will undoubtedly comment with “you’re so beautiful” is not self love. That is love me. This is of course just my opinion, but I have come to a point that I really don’t understand why we need to take pictures of ourselves every day. Once in a while, okay, when it’s mixed with something else, but I’d rather be known for the person who loves books and her pets more than she loves how she looks, and I want to really be that person too. I don’t know if I am, but I’m trying. It’s never too late to change, and this is the new year and all, so I’m doing something to help myself feel better about myself.
What I look like is not really relevant to who I am or what my passions are (unless those passions are makeup and if so all power to you) and I’d really like to feel that. I don’t feel that when I go to my feed and all I see is myself. It just makes me feel like a narcissistic asshole.
I would encourage you who love taking and posting selfies to continue doing so, just try not to judge me too harshly. If it doesn’t bother you and makes you feel happy, go for it, but I just want to do my thing.
A Bestselling Author, NPO VP, and Psychology Today Blogger from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.
Her life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie’s fairytales.
Allie Burke is the founder and editor of the OCH Literary Society.