When I was in middle school, Myspace and Facebook were just start to become the new thing to be apart of. People judged you by what background you had on your Myspace profile. They would also judge you by what music you had on your profile, or if you knew how to do it, your playlist could tell a stranger a lot about who you are.
Then, there was of course your profile picture. People surfing the internet would see you picture and based on what they saw they would add you as a friend.
When I first got Myspace I was in middle school and I was extremely self conscious. I didn’t like the way the acne on my face looked, and I thought I was the fattest person on this planet. I used to post maybe one picture of myself and that would be all.
In high school, I got a Facebook. On Facebook I would post way more pictures of myself. I would post pictures of everything I was doing and everywhere I was going. Then, I started wearing more and more makeup. This gave me the confidence to post pictures of myself. I spent many years in high school covering up my face with tons of foundation and powder just so people could not see my face.
I grew older and started college, and Is till wore a ton of makeup. My acne started to clear up, but I still didn’t want the world to really see who I was. This was because even though I was posting more pictures of myself and looking pretty confident I wasn’t. Since middle school I have been told that I am ugly. Well actually since kindergarten when the kids would make fun of how my eyes squint when I smile.
In middle school and high school I would receive messages from people that went to school with me saying things like, “why don’t you just kill yourself?” or “you try too hard even though you’re ugly.” The word ugly has followed me around my whole life, and it was starting to upset me immensely. I did start hating myself. I started to hate everything about myself. I had terrible cystic acne and a crooked nose from a baton accident when I was younger.
I eventually started ignoring any comments or messages like that until I was in college. My first year of college I was having a conversation with a guy I was in band with. We were just talking and I mentioned that I’m mixed with Korean, and h says to me, “Oh! So that’s why you post so many pictures of yourself.” I just looked at him extremely confused. He then said, “Yeah it’s not normal for people to take that many pictures of themselves. I just see one of you like everyday and I just thought you were conceited.
First, generalizing Asians as these conceited picture taking beings is ignorant. He also informed me that I was the first Asian he had ever met. This just absolutely floored me. How could you just assume these things about you had never met? I have lived my whole life with comments like this. “Oh you must do this because you’re Asian.” But they had never actually had contact with anyone who is Asian. We live in a time and country where assuming things about Asians is just “okay” and funny. Sometimes it is funny because some generalizations are true, but sometimes it’s just plain rude and racist.
Second, how was me taking pictures of myself being conceited? I am in no way conceited. To this day I find any small thing that might be wrong with me. But I do love the person that I am. It took me years to get to this point in my life, but I do love myself. I learned to love my acne scars, my crooked nose, the freckles on my cheeks, and the two freckles on my top and bottom lip. I learned to love my body shape because it’s the only body I have and why would I break down a body that’s supposed to last me a lifetime.
His comment made me really think. When did loving yourself make you conceited? I post pictures of myself when I feel confident about how I look, which just so happens to be almost everyday. We should’t be breaking down men and women who want to take pictures of themselves. They could actually not like who they are as a person, but if a couple of days out of the week they feel especially pretty or handsome, who are we to tell them that their pictures are too much.
When you tell someone that they post too many pictures of themselves it makes them feel like a burden. “If you don’t like seeing my face, then I wonder if everyone on my friends list must really hate seeing it.” They will try to hide themselves from the public eye. I spent about a year after that not really taking pictures of myself. If I posted pictures it would be of my feet, a random flower, the sky, or even just a notebook. I was scared that if I posted too much of myself people would think I was annoying.
Then, I just decided one day that I didn’t care what other people thought of me. I loved myself, and I was going to let some guys ignorant comment rule my life. I was who I am, I love myself. I made myself happy and that was enough for me. Seeing pictures of myself looking nice made me happy. I know that I am not conceited and that I suffer from demons that tell me I’m ugly constantly.
As I was at work today, I thought about how thankful I am for myself. I’m thankful that I didn’t let my anxiety rule my life and make me believe that I am nothing. I have a pretty good head on my shoulders, and I am happy. I love just about everything about myself, and I am proud of myself. I have gone through so many hardships in my life that should have been the end of me, but I decided to not let them rule me. I wanted to conquer them and show the world that it wasn’t going to be that easy to take me down.
So if you’re scared to post that picture of yourself, don’t be. You are a beautiful human being. The world deserves to know that you exist. You were blessed with life itself, don’t let the demons win. Let the world know that you are strong and that you are meant so much more than a couple of jaded comments. Pick your head up, take that picture of yourself, and love yourself.
What made you smile today? 🙂