There's a story behind every picture and a deeper plot narrative behind every face.
Post-college, I was incredibly self-conscious of the way I looked. I've always been a shy person but my deeper insecurities left me with little to no confidence. Something that I've never told anyone (but my old diary) is that I avoided mirrors for 2 years after college. I hated the way I looked. No matter how many times people would try and lift my confidence, I believed everyone was joking and I was the biggest punchline. I knew things had to change, I couldn't live in fear of seeing myself.
I went on a journey to lose weight around 2012, to start become happier with how I looked... I began to document my weight loss through a series of progress pictures, which was the beginning of me using selfies as a form of praise and happiness. I started to to see my hard work pay off and began looking forward to seeing small changes in the way I looked.
I believe that everyone should feel comfortable enough to take a photo of themselves. My Mom is a fountain of love, confidence and beauty, but she is not afraid to crop someone out of a photo, even if that photo includes her son.
On my fridge at home, we have a magnetic pictures placed on the door. One of them is of my Mom, however in the original image, I was in it too. She genuinely cropped me out and mirrored the image. This wasn't because of the way I looked, the flaws that I see in myself, are her favourite features. It was about the way, SHE looked. She was feeling herself so much she just had to see herself twice. I love that so much.
My social media timelines used to be full of fair skin, slim, cis-gender, males, being adored by all. Which is great and they still are a big presence on social media but I believe everyone is beautiful and should get support, but it's never everyone. Until lately.... lately I see black girls getting so much love through movements like #BlackGirlMagic and black people being adored on Tumblr through #BlackOutDay and gay and lesbian people being shown so much appreciation through #GaysBreakTheInternet and #LesbiansBreakTheInternet and it's so beautiful. Black Out Day made me cry when I first saw it. So much self love for people that people that usually have their beauty so ignored. Seeing all the support for everyone was overwhelming. I'm so soppy.
Out of the 100's of images I take on my phone and laptop, it's rare if I even post one.
Although it's hard on my storage, sometimes I like to just flick through my camera roll and see my hair style evolution, funny moments and those photos where I am so happy with the way I look. I'm still becoming more confident and more secure with myself, it takes time, but that's another reason why I love photos. They provide a time capsule, where you can store and share memories. I still go through photos of my childhood and when I see things that I don't remember, I love hearing someone tell me the story.
But however comfortable I get with selfies.... tagged photos... they're a whole other story. Behind every bad hair day is someone that doesn't want to get tagged in that photo.
Written by Bradley Morrison.
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