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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.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.