In Defense of the Selfie

I know what you’re thinking. Selfies?  Please, Jenn….

Despite being the word of the year, they have gotten a bad rap. Narcissistic? Sure, I suppose you could say that (along with half of what some people post on Facebook….) But I definitely think that there is a place for them, one place in particular.

In the hands of a mom.

Andrea from Good Girl Gone Redneck posted her 2013 Selfie summary, and it really got me thinking.

Where would you find the greatest amount of pictures of this gal? On her eye-phone.


Because I am the family photographer.

Do you know where you don’t find me? In the much  of the 14,000+ photos that are clogging up my MacBook. Because, again, I am the family photographer.

It hadn’t really hit me how missing I am in our photo collections until I went looking for a “Throw Back Thursday” photo to share on Facebook (because it was a slow Thursday) – and practically had to send out a search party to find a photo of me that was shareable (as in, one that didn’t make shake my head in resignation).

Most of the pictures that you might find me in over the course of my children’s first 5 years of life are genuinely tragic. I look tired, bedraggled and wan. Honestly, my children will look back on those photos when they are older and look at me with lifted eyebrows and say “Mom….what the hell?” (Much like we do looking back on my own mother’s bouffant hairdos and patterned shirts in her early years of motherhood, or the clothes that she used to dress us in.)

In contrast, as goofy as some of these selflies are, they show the real me. Tired. Frazzled. But silly. Quirky. Goofy. Happy. And many – with my children. Being goofy. Being quirky. Being happy. Together.

And that, my friends, is NOT a bad thing.

I’ve heard of the #365 Feminist Selfie project, but hadn’t really thought much about it, mostly because anything with “365” and “Project” in the title scares me pantsless. I’m struggling enough doing just a month of #Nablopomo.  Planning on anything for 365 days is just an invitation to fail.

But.  52 weeks? Maybe I could manage that, if I step it up. For 2013, I had about 30 selfies.

Here’s my 2013 year of selflies.



Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad that I have those few early pictures of me and the kids in their baby and toddler days. It reminds me of how much life has changed for all of us, particularly in that I no longer have to take a mom shower, one so quick that the backs of your knees barely get wet, and that I have time to flat iron my hair and find clothes that don’t have spit-up on them. You can see the joy in my eyes, along with fatigue.

But the selfies, particularly the ones with my kids, show more of the real me, the good and the bad, the goofy and the teasing.

And these are the pictures that I want my kids to remember me by.



  1. Lissa Johnston says

    Oh yes totally agree. For many years I have either skipped out of photo ops, or volunteered to take pix to avoid being in them (for no good reason). Now I see the error of my ways when I see pix from back in the day that include everyone but me. Conversely, I am always delighted when a picture of me turns up somewhere. Yes I know this makes no sense whatsoever!! And I also really appreciate those thoughtful souls who ‘get’ this and offer to take group pix so that I can appear in them. I am trying to be more proactive about getting into the shots now. Some day, having me in the picture will be impossible or impossibly creepy via seance!

    • Ooh, the seance! That’s hilarious!
      My other problem is that people kindly volunteer to take my picture on their camera, but I’m rubbish at actually getting a copy of the picture. I need to make a better effort at hunting those down.

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