How the “Selfie” is Affecting Self-Esteem

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Never has the dictionary caused more controversy than when the word “selfie” was dubbed 2013’s “word of the year.” Selfies may be seen as silly, harmless fun, but they can also trigger serious self-esteem issues, especially for women.

Why We Love the Selfie

Let’s face it – nothing gives you a quick self-esteem boost quite like taking the perfect selfie. Your eyes are sparkling, your skin is glowing, and you know you look good. When you post it on social media and watch the positive comments roll in…that feels even better.

The selfie has become the digital version of the artist’s self-portrait. But while not everyone has the artistic skills to paint a great self-portrait, everyone can take a great selfie. It’s our way of showing who we are, of asserting ourselves and our individuality to the world. What could be more powerful?

Selfies are also the perfect antidote to the overly airbrushed images we’re bombarded with every day, because with the exception of a filter or two, they’re au naturel. When supermodels or celebrities post selfies where they’re not all glammed up, the rest of us mortals can get a much-needed reality check in the confidence department.

Selfie with Caution

At the end of the day, most of us know better than to compare ourselves to celebrities. But you know who we can compare ourselves to? Our social media friends whose impossibly cool and beautiful selfies pop up in our news feed every other day. We’re supposed to be on par with these regular people, so why can’t we look like them?

Selfies may seem casual and spontaneous, but what we don’t see is how much effort it took to get that shot. Not to mention those magical filters that even out skintones and hide under-eye circles! This all creates a narcissistic community that feeds into our already fragile self-esteem. No one needs that.

Although the selfie puts you in control of your own image, you will never be in control of the Internet. Internet trolls are everywhere, and they can get really mean. More and more frequently, we’re seeing the negative effects of cyber bullying, especially among our young women. This isn’t to say that you should hold back from posting the odd selfie, but if you don’t have a thick skin, you might want to think twice. For the sake of your sanity.

 Selfies in the Online Dating World

So, what does all this mean when it comes to your online dating profile picture? Online dating statistics consistently show that a non-selfie is the way to go when it comes to that profile pic. A non-selfie gives you the opportunity to show off more of your personality without seeming like you’re trying too hard. You could choose a picture of yourself doing something you love, or a picture from your last vacation, something that can start a conversation. Whatever you do, don’t post a bathroom selfie.

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