How does my vanity hurt you?

If there’s one insult I haven’t gotten yet, it’s whenever someone makes fun for me taking selfies.

I really don’t get it. Like, yes…I take photos of myself…and post them online…onto my social media accounts…of which you choose to follow/creep. That’s kind of the whole point of online networking; showing yourself off in some form or another, from your political affiliations to killer bone structure.

How is that condemnable? By any means?

It’s also typically– near exclusively– applied to women. It’s always female celebrities who get berated for posting a selfie rather about “world hunger or rampant poverty” (I love how the people who want to make other people speak out of issues, never post about it themselves, but that’s another matter). It’s always young girls getting harassed for revealing photos while their male counterparts are praised.

I could (and have) post a photo of myself in skimpy bikini or tight dress, and future employers would see me as unprofessional. It’d be giving their company a bad name! No one wants to hire a slut. My brother could do the same thing and come off as just another laid back guy who has fun. Bonus points if he’s at the gym, ’cause then that shows dedication and an appreciation for healthy living!

Points taken away, however, if the photo seems a little…gay. There doesn’t have to be a cock in his mouth to imply such, no, just if he’s smiling a little too hard…or looking up a little too much…or is using two hands instead of one…. Just make sure the picture looks like it could have been taken on accident, and there’s no effort to look unnatural or posed in any way whatsoever.

Vanity being feminized ain’t a coincidence! And it being used as an excuse to shit on someone ain’t one, either.

Those blatant double standards not only dictate who can do what, but create the perfect breeding ground for another harmful narrative; women’s apparent inability to be multidimensional.

As I’m sure most of you know, my pages are full of sociopolitical commentary. Most of my Instagram photos feature an unrelated caption where I ramble at length about some issue or another. Most of the links on my blog redirect to alternative news media, and most of the inquiries I receive regard a problem outside of myself.

So how is it fair for me to be written off constantly as just some arrogant girl consumed by vanity? Nevermind the time I’ve spent to write a post or answer a message, because the fact I dedicate other minutes for a photo-op automatically discredits any substance I had before.

A successful, intelligent woman could indulge her self-esteem in the most trivial of ways and people will only focus on the latter trait.

When Kim Kardashian posted her cover for Forbes magazine, I literally gasped aloud. Lying-alone-in-the-dark-featuring-double-chin-and-hand-chilling-on-my-boob, gasping aloud. She is one of the most successful people out there for capitalizing off the beauty the world continues to reduce her to, and has finally been recognized as the successful businesswoman she is.

She co-founded ShoeDazzle! She has a fragrance and clothing line, she’s got jewellery and endorsements. She’s a model and an actress, starring in one of the most viewed television series– ever. Her app has made millions! Kim has built an empire from the ashes of an ex exposing her without consent. You can hate her and her family all you’d like, but at the end of the day to invalidate her accomplishments due to her looks…it’s incredibly transparent.

This goes for most ladies on social media! Is being multifaceted that difficult of a concept to grasp? There are internet personas who rely entirely on posting their faces and bodies, and to assume you know the entirety of a person based off such posts is ridiculous. The money their selfies bring home ain’t fake bucks, boo! The space they created for themselves is one you have no right to police. Especially if you are going to do so coming from a place of belittling.

It’s incredibly patronizing to imply being beautiful, and knowing it, means someone is inherently vapid. More than that, though, it’s just plain sad.

Why does it hurt you to see other people enjoying themselves? In what way does my “self obsession” actively harm you? Is your ego, or self esteem, so fragile that a simple selfie gets you fired up? You want to challenge my status or question the dedication to my beliefs all because I post a photo of my blinding highlight or bomb ass titties?

Last weekend a woman, Qandeel (Fouzia) Baloch, was murdered by her brother in an “honor killing”. Her online presence and unapologetic confidence apparently ruined her family name more than blood strangling blood. She is one of the thousands upon thousands of women around the world who are punished for expressing their self love. Some women are assaulted, and others harassed. Some are spammed with threats and come ons by internet strangers, and others made fun of by their own friends.

In some form another, from extreme to trivial, a girl is made to feel ashamed for vocalizing vanity.

As a woman, posting your body can get you killed, fired, bullied, or hounded. And as a woman, you can see your body sold on magazines covers in every convenient store or computer screen in any given man’s bedroom.

Y’all like women to look good! But the second we begin embracing the fact, suddenly we “have more to offer”, or are being “bad role models to little girls”, or “giving people the wrong impression”, or “begging for bad attention”.

Let us be happy with ourselves in peace! Teach young girls it’s okay to feel good about yourself. It’s not a bad thing to want to show off your beauty, and doing so doesn’t mean you’ve got no brains. Unlearn the idea that a woman exists only to cater to a narrow form of consumption. Spread those sentiments encouraging self love instead of ones who make the act feel shameful or embarrassing.

Nothing is uglier than a person who goes out of their way to make someone feel bad solely for being comfortable and proud with themselves. Nothing is more hypocritical or childish to think taking a selfie is a genuinely funny punch line.

Take a few minutes to look at yourself on the camera of your phone. Do you like what you see? Do you want attention or validation– two external influences necessary for internal stability and esteem– for what you just captured? If not, for what? Do you want to show off meeting your favorite celebrity, or some expensive makeup you just treated yourself to? Do you want praise and likes on a journal, a poem? Your muscle mass progress, or GPA? Whatever it is, social media is giving you a platform to either give or receive this form of love. You may find it unnecessary, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss it so entirely. If you can’t find something you want to be publically proud of that, that’s fine! Why look down on those who do, though?


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  • Reply
    March 2, 2017 at 2:55 PM

    i just shared this with all of my friends, super well-written!!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2016 at 12:43 AM

    Love this!! Very powerful!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2016 at 3:01 PM


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