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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.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

Blake's owner sings and he "sings" along.

When a dog howls along to music, are they complaining because the music hurts their ears, or are they actually trying to sing along?

Most likely, it's the latter—or something like it. According to the American Kennel Club, research shows that canines do actually have a sense of pitch and can differentiate between different tones. That ability stems from their wolf ancestors, who each howl at a different pitch as more and more wolves join in on a group howl.

So when Blake the rescue Rottweiler joins his owner in a viral TikTok video duet, perhaps he's really trying to "sing" along with her.

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As the saying goes, "You have to kiss a few frogs..."

Dating has certainly evolved over the years—we’ve gone from courtship being purely a financial arrangement (not that this trend has ever truly died) to knights jousting for a lady’s favor, to casual hookups … and now, romance is primarily found through an app more than anything else.

Technology used for meeting that special someone has become so advanced that you can base your search entirely upon specific interests. Like … oddly specific interests. Think a fellow cat person would be the purrfect match? There’s an app for that. Wish to “love long and prosper” with a fellow Trekkie? There’s an app for that too.

No matter the changes, one thing remains the same—dating is awkward. It’s got all the unspoken formalities of a job interview, disguised as innocent fun. The balance between playing it too cool and too eager is hard to find even for the smoothest among us, and usually results in total embarrassment. Even if we aren’t the ones committing those embarrassing acts ourselves, we are often the reluctant witness to them.

Terrible dates might not always be fun in the moment, but they can be just as important as the good ones. They can teach us a lot about ourselves and what qualities we want in a partner. And at the very least, they can teach us to embrace social clumsiness with a sense of humor.

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share a “funny or embarrassing first date story” for his ever popular #Hashtags segment. The best part—some of these awful first dates ended in marriage. There’s hope for us all.

Below, find 15 stories that are truly the best of the worst. How do some of your first dates compare?

1. "After a nice dinner, she invited me to her house. On the way up, inside the elevator, I decided to push the button to stop between floors and give her a kiss... She had a phobia of closed spaces and she smacked my face as a reflex, two punches after we were kissing and laughing.” – @PanqueAlgarvio

2. “His jeans were so tight he couldn’t sit down. Stood at a bar stool the whole time.” – @onlyintheozarks

3. “Waiting 4 my date when an older couple asked me for a ride. my date came up and said sure! We drove them home & they asked us to come in. Date said “sure”. I pulled him back & asked why he wanted to hang w/strangers. He said ‘sh@t! YOU DON'T KNOW THEM!?’ We bolted!” – @natashaham75

facebook dating

Talk about a fashion faux pas.

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4. “Before the date, we had been chatting about books we liked and I talked about a great book I just read. We went on the date. I loaned her the book. She ghosted me.” – @thenextbarstool

5. “The worst first date I ever had was when my date locked his keys in the car and I had a curfew so he had to break his car window out to get me home on time. Didn’t think I’d ever see him again but we wound up married.” – @csleblan

6. “First date movie ‘Basic Instinct’ not realizing how suggestive it was. We just thought it was a mystery thriller! We left the movie discussing how each character could have actually murdered someone. We're married now.” – @Southrnbell_Amy

black people meet

There are worse first date movies tbh.

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7. “First date with my ex husband was a double date with his parents. The preview for ‘Speed Racer’ came on, and she leaned over me to say to her son, ‘You know what your dad's nickname in the bedroom is?’" – @theostoria

8. “A friend asked me on a double date as a blind date with his date's friend. I went to the bathroom and came back just in time to hear my date say to her friend, ‘why do I get the ugly one?’ I said good night to all three and headed home, leaving her w/the bill.” – @StevenTrustum

9. “He loved cheese. I was subjected to a 2 hour conversation/lecture about cheese, and why cottage cheese is not cheese!” – @Optimist_Eeyore

bumble

I'd like to see this two-hour cheese lecture.

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10. “He took me to an Asian fish market. We walked around looking at live & dead fish for a while. I don’t like seeing dead animals & I don’t eat seafood. Then we sat on a curb & he pulled out a ziplock bag of pineapple for us to share. I don’t like pineapple.” – @markayhali

11. “My cousin set up a first date for me with a family friend. During a break from dinner, Mr. Man follows me into the ladies’ room, comes up close and says in a low voice, ‘I shave my butt.’ Can’t remember what I said in response but the evening ended abruptly.” – @carli_zarzana

12. “I once took out my high school crush to a sports bar and ordered the spiciest wings there in an attempt to impress her. Not only was she not impressed. The next morning I woke up with heartburn.” –@Dmonster38

tindr conversation starters

Talk about a hot date.

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13. “My date showed up with his bestie and girlfriend, and they talked through dinner about people I don’t know. Walking to the car, he gave me a wedgie because he thought he hadn’t been paying enough attention to me.” – @surrealDazey


14. “I was taking my date home and was pulled over by the police for speeding. When the cop came to my car, she jumped out and told him she had to get home. She walked home and I never heard from her again. I'm not sure who's #WorstFirstDate it was mine or hers!” – @eastriverbear

15. “After an evening of dancing with a first date, leaving the dance hall, I had to take a quick pee break. Rushing out to the parking lot, I see a lady, I grab her and swoop her around, and plant a big wet kiss on the lips. She was another guy's wife. Oops!” – @seadogskamore

date you

Only Gomez could have gotten away with it.

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