"Zara, I don't know how to tell you this," exclaimed my dear friend Amelia, her slim fingers wrapped around a mega cup of scalding hot coffee. She softly exhaled into the static air of our local cafe and nervously tapped the circular wooden table top with her pointed acrylic nail.
"You can tell me anything," I assured her, taking a dutiful sip of my skinny vanilla latte in solidarity.
We went out last night, so I was sure she had gone home with a random the night before and was in a frenzy, desperate for some company whilst picking up Plan B at the local drugstore on the corner of Lexington and E 90th Street.
After all, we had gone pretty hard. Even I was suffering from acute dry mouth and a bout of epic fatigue.
I delicately touched her arm, hoping it would release her fear of me judging her.
I don't judge people for having one-night stands after too many vodka sodas, so long as they use protection. And even if they don't wrap it up, I will happily hold their hand during the inevitable at-home pregnancy test. That's just the kind of friend I am.
She looked me dead in the eye. "Zara, you're taking to many f*cking selfies.”
What. The. F*ck?
“People are starting to talk. This is a selfie intervention,” she said.
"What do you mean?!” I shouted, visibly disrupting the middle-aged man hovered over his laptop to my left. “I thought you were about to tell me you went home with that guy you were sucking face with last night!"
She rested her head between her arms before peering up at me. Her massive eyes looked animalistic, like a rabies-fueled owl.
"I just thought I would let you know," she retorted. She smoothed her hair primly and stood up. "And on that note, I'm going to be late to Pilates."
Pilates? Who the f*ck goes to Pilates on a hangover?
I sat back in my chair, my brain spinning a million miles per minute. Was I really one of those girls? One of those girls who takes too many duck-lipped, pouting selfies, so many that I'm actually known for it? Is that really my legacy?
I scrolled through my Instagram with the determination of an undercover investigator. Okay, so maybe there was a slew of selfies. Maybe I did have a lot of pictures of my fabulous outfits shamelessly snapped through my gold-gilded bathroom mirror.
I took a deep breath. As I exhaled, I came to a confident, sudden conclusion: Is taking too many selfies really so f*cking terrible?
I found myself growing irrationally angry. If Amelia thought I was going to stop taking selfies just because a few nameless, catty brats were jealous, she had another thing coming.
Because you know what? I will never, ever, ever stop taking selfies. And you, haters, can all shut the f*ck up about it (OR STOP FOLLOWING ME. I DON'T GAF).
1. Because selfies are empowering.
In a time when women are expected to be self-conscious and hate the way they look, taking a selfie is wildly empowering.
It's madly unapologetic. It's saying this is my FACE bitches, and I'm proud as F*CK of it.
2. Because we are all looking for validation, so we might as well be honest about it.
We’ve heard it all a million times: “Selfies are narcissistic. People who take selfies are so clearly, so obviously, so desperately seeking validation."
Yeah, well, so f*cking what? Aren't we all hungry for validation? Isn't that part of the goddamn human condition?
Who on social media isn't looking for some form of affirmation? Isn't that the f*cking point? (Also, while we are at it, don't tell me you only use it for "work," either. We all know you're bullsh*tting, so STFU kindly please).
At least a selfie is honest about its purpose. And I find the honest, attention-seeking nature of a selfie way more refreshing (and way less annoying) than the girl who hides behind a screenshotted "motivational quote" that she didn't even f*cking write.
3. Because a selfie puts you in control.
In an age when everything is Photoshopped and almost every picture of a woman in a magazine has been taken by a creepy male photographer, a selfie is the only time in which THE GIRL is in total control of how she’s shot.
You can shoot yourself from the angles YOU like, not some gross "male gaze" perspective of beauty.
4. Because I like to own my face.
This is my face, assh*les, like it or not. A selfie is all about owning your face and owning the way you look. There are no rock-solid abs or fabulous shoes to distract from the face in the selfie.
5. Because people are more interesting than simple scenery.
What is the point of looking at pretty scenery without a person? I'm far more interested in looking at your gorgeous face, your unique bone structure and your exquisite eyes than I am in looking at a monument I can Google search a better pic of anyway.
6. Because I don't want to waste my amazing outfit.
I don't want to waste this awesome outfit I have creatively and expertly put together on this fine day. What good is this stellar outfit if no one f*cking sees it?
Let’s get real: I didn't spend $150 on this amazing dress for no compliments/validation. Keep ‘em coming.
7. Because I don't need another person to make a memory.
Most selfies are solo, which I find fabulously liberating. By posting a picture of yourself alone, you're declaring to the entire world at large that you don't require an additional entity to secure a fond memory.
8. Because it's the modern day scrapbook.
By documenting my pictures daily, I'm bringing back the art of scrapbooking (in the most modern of ways, using my smartphone).
9. Because I don't think a little narcissism is a bad thing.
What's so terrible about a little hint of narcissism anyway? We are incessantly told that we should LOVE the way we look and feel BEAUTIFUL as little girls only to be shamed for our vanity as grown-ups. F*CK THAT.
10. Because it's a visual diary.
Selfies are the modern girl's diary. I can scroll through my phone and recall the colorful spectrum of moods I was in, what lipstick I wore and how I felt by the daily selfies holding court in my files.
11. Because I like to see where my money goes.
I love lipstick. I've been collecting lipstick since I was a little kid. I'm a different person every day depending on what lipstick I wear -- red, I'm a vixen; beige, I'm working girl; purple, I'm a gothic goddess.
Selfies show me why my bank account is perpetually drained: my dynamic lippie collection. If I'm going to spend all of my money on my vanity, I like to have photographic evidence of where it went (and how fierce it looked).
12. Because not all selfies have to be pretty.
You know what, haters? Not all selfies are to display how "pretty" we looked that day.
A lot of times I take a selfie because I'm acutely astounded at how horrific I look or how funny that zit on my forehead looks or to make a sad friend laugh at my puffy face after a night of drinking.
A selfie is so much more than a display of beauty. Any good selfie taker knows that there are many types of selfie: the distorted selfie, the crying selfie, the ugly selfie, the glam selfie, the post-breakup selfie, the tired selfie, the drunken selfie.
It's an oversimplification to think we're just trying to show off our beauty with our selfies.
13. Because they are memories for my older self.
That's right. I'm unabashedly in LOVE with my life, and I want photo f*cking documentation.