Guille Faingold

Post That Selfie: How To Use Social Media For Empowerment, Not Envy

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Anyone who knows me knows I take a lot of selfies. I know my best angles and I know which spots in my apartment have the best lighting depending on the time of day.

It's no joke that it takes about 100 before you get one that's just flawless. Then, you've got to decide on a caption that isn't an inspirational quote in order to avoid looking like a basic bitch.

By the time you've selected the perfect filter and uploaded it to the 'Gram, an hour has gone by. It takes a village.

And then you wait. You wait for the likes, the heart-eye emojis and the comments about how beautiful you are to start streaming in. And for what, really?

If you say it's not for the attention, you're only lying to yourself. As the number of likes increases, so does your ego. In a generation whose lives are completely integrated with social media, it's hard to escape it. I've tried deleting Facebook and it's literally impossible to do so with everything that links to it. Kudos, Zuckerberg.

We are surrounded by fake-ness. Looking at people's perfectly posed lives and candidly un-candid photos only makes us feel worse about our own. We completely forget that we're only looking at that person's highlight reel. Today, lives are edited, and we pretend to be the people we wish we were.

It could the adventurous girl doing crazy yoga poses on the beach, the guy at the club taking pictures with hot girls he doesn't know or a fitting room selfie in an outfit you know you can't afford no one is seeing the real you.

That person being the one that sits on the couch in a messy bun (sans makeup), binge-watching "Pretty Little Liars" as she eats leftover Thai food.

We've been taught from a young age to hate ourselves. It may have started with religion reminding you that most of life's pleasures are sins. Or, an acne commercial making you self-conscious of your own pizza face. Oh high school, how I don't miss thee.

Perfectly photoshopped models in magazines remind you of just how imperfect your own body is. There's always a new treatment you can do, class you can take or product you can buy that will make your life better. There's always something being sold, or told, to you that will bring you closer to the person you are on the internet.

When will we learn to stop being so harsh on ourselves and each other? To accept the fact that everybody is just doing the best they can?

Maybe the real reason you think that gym selfie guy is a douche is because you feel guilty that your own ass hasn't been near a treadmill in three months. If that girl from high school posting endless photos of her kid annoys you, look away.

Believe it or not, the person sitting next to you is probably just as insecure as you are. Lift others up instead of trying to tear them down to feel better about yourself. Actions are contagious and you'll get what you give.

If someone is trying to bring you down, remember that you're already above them. Get like Bey and start feeling yourself.

If a simple post can make you feel more confident and walk a little taller the next day, post it. We live in a society that tells us to love ourselves, yet calls us narcissists if we actually do.

In the wise words of Ru Paul, “If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”