Why I Take Selfies

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Photography, Self-Discovery, Self-Esteem | 3 Comments

I started taking selfies last year. I wasn’t really sure why at the time. It started as a daily practice. A way of exploring self-image, something that I, like almost every other person I know, have a complicated relationship with. Using Pixlr, I began adding layers, textures, colours and frames. It gave me distance. I was no longer playing with a self-portrait. I was playing with line and form. I found that I could appreciate the finished creation in a way that I couldn’t always do when I looked at the image reflected back to me in the mirror.

The selfies have proved to be a really insightful way for me to discover the different shades of myself.

And yes, I totally get that some might look at the practice of creating selfies and assume that I’m completely self-absorbed, and that by sharing them I’m looking for some kind of validation. But that’s not it. That would be to miss the point altogether. When I share the selfies, it shifts from a practice of self-discovery to a practice of vulnerability. I often feel incredibly tender when I share a selfie. It’s not easy to share these images. It wasn’t when I started. And it’s still not now.

So why do I take selfies? I take them to heighten my own self-awareness and to discovery new sides of myself.

Why do I share them? To create breathing space in the experience of vulnerability. And to give you permission, should it be needed, to start a similar practice.

3 Comments

  1. debsaidit
    February 14, 2013

    Amy,
    thank you for these words.
    I adore each and every one of these selfies!
    and Hell to the YES about what you said…
    ” to give you permission, should it be needed, to start a similar practice.”
    Well said.
    Thank you!!

    Reply
  2. Lindsay
    February 14, 2013

    These are gorgeously fab Amy! I’ve loved your exploring this and the invitation in it and missed several of the collage here… Thank you for answering my unspoken question ‘How’?! Tentatively creating my own distance with selfies xo

    Reply
  3. Why people take selfies (or, “‘ordinary’ looking women are worth photographing and looking at” | jill/txt
    April 14, 2014

    […] always do when I looked at the image reflected back to me in the mirror. (Amy Palko, “Why I Take Selfies“, Feb 14, […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.