Ah, the selfie; a staple of the modern times. We have all taken them. We all have found ourselves sitting in front of the mirror at one time or another and taking 20 pictures of ourselves in order to find one appropriate for posting.
My feelings about selfies are complex. And I am referring to true selfies here…I don’t count it as a selfie if there are other people in the picture. On the one hand I like the idea that someone feels so good about them self and the way they look that they feel the freedom to share it with the world. I most certainly have posted selfies on days I thought I was having a particularly good hair day, and it does feel good. It feels so nice to be able to look at yourself in a picture and think, “I look really beautiful” and believe it so much you are unafraid of sharing. I am totally on board with that selfie mentality.
But then other times (many times) selfies can feel self serving and we can post them seeking the validation of others instead of believing in our own beauty. Most of us know that there is a bit of manipulation in a selfie. We almost never take just one. We (I) ever so carefully make sure the angle is juuust so. We make faces. We strike poses. We all accept this knowledge. However, there is one selfie that I must take particular issue with and that is the post work out selfie.
Perhaps I take issue with it because I am simply jealous as I could never, ever, with all the manipulation in the world create it myself. You know the selfie I’m talking about. The one where the subject gleams with perfect round beads of sweat and it is somehow not repulsive, but so sexy. The one where their expression is of some sort of peace and inner strength; they never look exhausted or like they might throw up. Accompanying this picture there are usually lots of inspirational hashtags. I look at these pictures and I go “How?!?”
When I finish working out I look like a literal monster. I am dripping sweat and my hair is falling out of some semblance of a ponytail and my skin turns a color that is not normally found on humans in nature. I am RED, like tomato red, and it will last for about a half an hour after. I look worn out (because I AM! I just worked so hard!) There is no steely gaze of inner peace for me, I’m just frantically looking for a chair. No matter how hard I tried I could not take an attractive selfie at this time, In fact, here is my best attempt:
Basically I am just hoping you will be distracted by the wildness of my hair and not notice that my eyes are giving away my distress…I get out of breath just looking at this picture. And it was taken like 20 minutes post workout…
And this is what I really look like after my workouts (Taken to show my fiancé I worked out that day). It’s not cute, but it is definitely real.
And here is the thing, I would never post these selfies ( I can’t even believe I am posting them here). I don’t feel good about the way I look in them, but when I finish working so hard I do feel good. I feel really, really glad it is over, but also incredibly proud about the fact that I made it through.
I suppose that feeling is probably what the beautiful post workout selfie people are trying to get across. So I will try my very best not to look at them and think to myself, “I’m pretty sure they just put on workout clothes and misted themselves with a spray bottle” because good for them. They worked hard and they feel good about it and I am proud of them.
But in the future, just know that if I ever post a beautiful post workout selfie…I definitely just put on workout clothes and misted myself with a spray bottle.