"Writing is an art. You must splatter your words to portray the proper image.."
Thank you for reading my writing, I look forward to reading yours!
Written By: Catherine Kalogeros
March 14, 2015
Over the course of several years, America's teens have experimented with all kinds of new technology. Many teens have begun to express themselves through various sorts of social media whether it be tweeting that they are eating breakfast or posting a picture with their friends. As a fellow teenager, I have seen many different ways of personal expression through social media. The most reoccurring pictures that I see are often selfies. I am guilty of being a selfie taker, along with millions of girls across the country. Though I do take selfies, I do not post them on any of my social media pages. I see selfies as a way to capture a great moment when you are feeling confident about how you look, a feeling that I believe is very rare among not only teenage girls but teenage boys also. This recent discovery of mine has left me wondering why people post selfies and why selfies are important.
I never knew what a selfie was until my friends and classmates began to constantly post them and often discuss them with their friends. I hopped on board thinking it was just another trend that would eventually fade away but now I am faced with the fact that selfies are here to stay. When my friends post selfies on Instagram, I notice that the number of comments continues to get enlarged as time goes on. Most selfie comments state "You are so beautiful!" or something as simple as "Gorgeous!". These phrases make me ponder the idea that selfies help teens gain confidence and also create unity among teenagers everywhere. I often find myself commenting on other girl's selfies with the hopes of empowering them and making them feel appreciated. I have been through middle school and I know how social media and other forms of modern technology make it so easy to bully anonymously and demolish self-confidence within seconds. Selfies seem to be a place where teens get to feel appreciated and loved by all of their friends and admirers on social media.
As a girl, I know how hard it is to feel confident and appreciated. Girls are often degraded and oppressed by men but also by other girls! While we are being torn down by the opposite gender, girls should empower each other and band together to prove that we are worthy of all the love and respect that men get and also that we are not okay with being looked at as people of "lesser" value. Girls can be vicious and I know this from personal experience. The girls that tear others down have more often than not been torn down themselves. Bullies need compassion and respect just as much as victims do. The difference in character has to do with how those people choose to act. You can either replace your lost confidence within another person who craves it or you can steal the confidence of others to build up how you feel about yourself, even if this feeling isn't fulfilling deep down. Selfies pose an opportunity to build the confidence of someone who greatly needs higher self-esteem! By posting a selfie, I feel that you are looking for some reassurance in times of doubt, reassurance that I believe you deserve to give and also get back.
Not only are selfies a teen trend but also a trend among celebrities who are on board with boosting the confidence of others! Emma Watson has been active in the “He for She” campaign where it is believed that men and women should be equally respected and loved, a movement that I completely support and admire. Emma took to social media and used it to spread the message of gender inequality and why things should change. People from all over the world were posting pictures of themselves holding a sign that read "He for She". Men, women and children participated in this activity and it greatly helped spread awareness of this inequality issue. Many Americans think that selfies are silly and impractical but I think selfies are a great way to express yourself and help foster a feeling of belonging and acceptance within another person. You truly never know what hills others are struggling to climb, a simple act of kindness can go a long way! Commenting a compliment on someone's selfie is a great way to start. When you do this, others will do the same and it will create a chain of love for every girl and every boy who needs it. Everybody feels small and unappreciated at some point in their lives, remember how you felt in those times! Social media has created a platform for a new kind of world where we can ALL help each other feel better about ourselves and our actions. Selfies speak words, you just have to listen to them with open ears and open hearts.