7 things that'll change your mind if you hate selfies.

The world wants you to feel ashamed. Don't.

Centuries ago, artists would take weeks, months, or even years to create the perfect self-portrait. Today, it takes just seconds.

What was once a painstaking process is now accessible to anyone with a cellphone.

Yes, I'm talking about the "selfie."


Depending on who you ask, selfies are either the best thing since sliced bread or a pox on society, emblematic of deep narcissism.

Golfer Sierra Brooks takes a selfie with her teammates Amy Lee, Andrea Lee, Kristen Gillman, Bethany Wu, and Hannah O'Sullivan during a practice round at the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup. Photo via Getty Images.

It's odd, really — there are few things as harmless as a photo taken of yourself.

Here are seven reasons to shrug off the haters and love your selfie:

1. Love your selfie to give your self-esteem a little boost.

This one seems kind of obvious, right? Even better, it's backed up by data: A 2014 survey of teenage girls found that 65% of respondents felt that taking selfies and posting them to social media helped boost their confidence and body image. Boom!

What an awesome win for selfie-steem.

Ladies Day at the Royal Ascot horse race meet. Photo by Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images.

2. Love your selfie to take control in the way you choose to present yourself to the world.

We all know that feeling, after a night out with friends, when we find ourselves tagged in all sorts of unflattering pictures on Facebook. It's certainly not fun.

Selfies are basically the opposite of that, helping us show our best selves to the world (even if that best self has the help of some filters, creative angles, or lighting tricks).

You've got every right to control your own self image. Own it!

Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong'o, Angelina Jolie, and Peter Nyong'o Jr. during the 86th Academy Awards in 2014. Photo by Ellen DeGeneres/Twitter via Getty Images.

3. Love your selfie to send a message to the world about your unique life experiences.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. If you have something important to say, why not say it with a selfie?


Christi Salcedo is a breast cancer survivor who, as the result of a double mastectomy, found herself under increased scrutiny when using public restrooms because people thought she was transgender (she's not).

Her image, "This is breast cancer," earned more than 18,000 Likes and was shared nearly 6,700 times on Facebook.

4. Love your selfie to document an important moment in your life.

Sometimes you just want to tell the world: "Hey, look at this awesome thing I did! I'm really proud of it!" There's nothing wrong with feeling some pride in your accomplishments or experiences, and anyone who tells you different is, well, wrong.

Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and director Alejandro González Iñárritu, all winners for "The Revenant," take a selfie onstage during the 88th Academy Awards in 2016. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst documented an important moment in his life with a selfie during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station in 2014. Photo by Alexander Gerst/ESA via Getty Images.

5. Love your selfie to defy society's expectations.

Society conditions us to feel ashamed of ourselves, to find flaws in our appearances to obsess over. Whether we're looking at the cover of a magazine or watching TV, we're being bombarded with these messages on repeat. But what if we all just stopped caring? What if we found a way to say, "Look at me. I like myself for who I am."

Selfies are a pretty great tool for pushing back on societal standards. When your friends share their selfies, get excited for them! Their selfies mean they're feeling themselves, and in a world that constantly tells us to hate our appearances, those are moments worth celebrating!

Actress Rumer Willis takes a selfie at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in 2015. Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Samsung.

6. Love your selfie to show you can have fun alone or in a group.

Having a good time going solo and want to share that with the world? There's no better way to document it than with a selfie. The same goes for fun times with friends. Creating memories and sharing them with the world is a pretty wonderful thing.

Plus, in a selfie, everyone gets to be in the shot instead of having to trust a stranger to hold your cellphone and take a photo for you, or awkwardly asking your least-favorite friend to take the photo.

Tennis star Andy Murray with more than 350 ball kids before the 2016 Australian Open. Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images.

7. Love your selfie because you can.

This may be the most important reason of all. You should love your selfie (and, by extension, yourself) because you can — because you don't exist to please other people or to play by society's rules.

You don't need anyone's permission to feel good about yourself, and that's reason enough to celebrate.

A woman takes a selfie in front of a multi-colored sheep installation for the 2015 Chinese New Year at a shopping mall in Hong Kong. Photo by Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images.

So go ahead — share that photo you snapped on your way to work today or out last night with friends. Love yourself and your selfie.

Family

Mom and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom regularly shares snippets of life with her two children on her Facebook page. One particularly touching interaction with her daughter is melting hearts and blowing minds due to the three-year-old's wise words about forgiveness.

Even adults struggle with the concept of forgiveness. Entire books have been written about how and why to forgive those who have wronged us, but many still have a hard time getting it. Who would guess that a preschooler could encapsulate what forgiveness means in a handful of innocent words?

Keep Reading Show less
Family

California has a housing crisis. Rent is so astronomical, one San Francisco company is offering bunk bedsfor $1,200 a month; Google even pledged$1 billion to help tackle the issue in the Bay Area. But the person who might fix it for good? Kanye West.

The music mogul first announced his plan to build low-income housing on Twitter late last year.

"We're starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We're looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better," West tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Cities

The U.S. women's soccer team won the Women's World Cup, but the victory is marred by the fact that the team is currently fighting for equal pay. In soccer, the game is won by scoring points, but the fight for equal pay isn't as clearly winnable and the playing field isn't as even.

We live in a world where winning the World Cup is easier than winning equal pay, but co-captain Megan Rapinoe says there's one easy way fans can support the team: Go see games.

Some people argue the men's team deserves to get paid more because they are more successful and earn more money for the United States Soccer Federation. Pay depends on merchandise and ticket sales, and in general, men's sporting events tend to draw a bigger crowd than women's sporting events. It's not about sex, many argue; it's about the fact that people just prefer to see men play.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

You think you know someone pretty well when you spend years with them, but, as we've seen time and again, that's not always the case. And though many relationships don't get to a point where the producers of "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" start calling every day just to chat, the reality is that sometimes partners will reveal shocking things even after you thought you'd been all shocked out.

That's the case for one woman whose Reddit thread has recently gone viral. The 25-year-old, who's been with her boyfriend for five years, took to a forum for relationship advice to ask if it was normal that her seemingly cool and loving boyfriend recently revealed women shouldn't have a fundamental right. (And no, it's not abortion — although there are a lot of "otherwise best ever boyfriends" out there who want to deny women the rights to bodily autonomy, too.)

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended