Get Well

What a Selfie Means to You Pt. 1

by Hannah Smith

Selfies are an incredibly personal picture. For some, taking selfies is off limits. For others, taking selfies gives a sense of confidence and empowerment. In partnership with OtterBox, we sat down with Bianca Valle and Kirsy Lovett to chat about the power of a selfie, potential insecurities, and what a selfie actually means in the grand scheme of things. Take a look at their selfies and read their thoughts below.

Bianca Valle

How does a selfie make you feel?

I think selfies can be really empowering. Personally, I don’t take too many selfies. Back in the day when I would wear more makeup, I would for sure take a selfie to document my good work. This was mostly during my beauty editing days when I was wearing a lot more into makeup, and eyeshadows, and doing contouring, and I would take the time to do all these layers and steps use a thousand Q-tips to perfect [the look]. Now, my selfies have kind of evolved into video selfies of me eating fruits and vegetables or salads, just whole natural foods that are good for us humans. [T]he fact that I can have a selfie video moment eating these things is really great because I’ve gotten feedback from my community that, because of these selfie videos, they now feel inspired to eat healthier. So for me, this selfie movement and taking selfies of myself eating whole and natural foods is making an impact, even though it’s something so simple. It’s really great. It’s empowering. It’s a tool!

Is there anything that makes you feel insecure when taking selfies?

[W]e all have insecurities, and I am 100% insecure when I take selfies, but I push myself to do it anyway to create a safer environment for myself and for other people. For example: all the time I post selfies of my pimples and [draw] little hearts around them, and “Look at this beauty!,” or [I take] a video [of me] eating, and it’s not cute, but I do that so I can look at the video or look at the selfie and say, “Okay that’s me, and that’s it.” If I made [the picture] perfect and used a thousand filters, then the only person I’m really hurting is myself. I won’t be able to look at a [filtered] photo of myself and enjoy it and celebrate it and [think], “That’s me.” I mean love me a good Paris [filter] moment because sometimes I’m looking a little too shiny, but I just try to be as me as possible to help myself cope with my insecurities and to help other people realize, “Hey! I also have a chin pimple and that’s okay.”

What makes you feel confident when taking a selfie?

I think I have an underlying confidence when taking selfies because I try really hard to not look at who is looking at them. I don’t scroll and go through to see, “Oh this person has liked my selfie,” or “This person has viewed my story,” because I think that once I start diving into that and think, “Oh my gosh, that cute guy I saw last night saw my selfie!”, that would stifle how I feel about myself. I’m just very blind and very sheltered, on purpose, to my audience. I don’t want to know who sees it. Sometimes when I’m scrolling, I’ll [notice] The Chill Times saw my selfie, and then Coveteur saw my story, and one gal from Vogue saw my selfie, and… I’m dripping apple juice from the side of my mouth, and I have my chin pimple that’s still there, and I’m chomping with my mouth wide open- so like not knowing who sees it gives me the most confidence.

Kirsy Lovett

How does a selfie make you feel?

A selfie makes me feel powerful. I’m owning myself, I’m presenting myself, and I’m controlling how I put myself out into the world. [What’s scary, though,] is that people won’t see my confidence [emulating] through my photo.

Is there anything that makes you feel insecure when taking selfies?

It might sound cocky if I say nothing makes me feel insecure, but I don’t think I feel insecure. If anything, I embrace my unique features [which took some time to do]. What the media presents as beauty is very different from me. [They present] straight hair and light skin, and I have curly hair and darker skin, so it took time, but now I embrace it.

What makes you feel confident when taking a selfie?

If I get a nice highlight or after a nice facial [and then] I catch a glow on my face from natural lighting, I’m feeling good.

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All images via Emma Trim

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