And, considering the fact that I've taken at least one selfie every day for over two months now, I can't easily argue that he was wrong.
(He also said that I was selfish, which is pretty rich coming from the guy who insisted that I essentially buy back the car from him, even though we'd bought it entirely with my money, but hey. Divorce sucks, even if it's worth it.)
But the fact that I willingly take and post selfies, and that I honestly like (and sometimes love) how I look in said selfies is such a long shot from where I used to be.
Growing up, I was incredibly unhappy with the way I looked. I was this awkward, gangly thing with a crooked back, a big nose, pale skin, small boobs, and (to quote my mother) "dishwater blond hair." All around me, it seemed, were these gorgeous specimens of post-pubescence, girls who were (quite literally) blossoming into women, girls who wore more than a training bra, girls who had boyfriends and were popular and blonde and perfect.
And then there was me. Awkward and nerdy and desperate for the right kind of attention (or, perhaps, the wrong kind of attention, as the case may be). It is, honestly, painful to remember how desperate I was, so desperate and clueless that I actually one time wrote out a list of ways I could be more popular. This list included things like "be the first to answer all the teacher's questions right," so you can clearly see how successful I was bound to be in my quest for popularity.
I put Sun-in in my hair. I stuffed Kleenex in my bras. I stared in vain at my nose, wondered how in the world I could hide such a horrendously prominent thing on my face. I thought that if I somehow I got a tan that I would look more like one of those girls, instead of being this pale and unpopular ghost with a schnoz.
It probably goes without saying that I didn't really date much. I had a brief relationship my freshman year of high school (which I regretted as soon as it began), and a very-slightly-less-brief relationship in college. I also had a not-relationship-relationship with my current fiance', wherein we would see movies when I was home from college and make out afterwards but never actually "date."
Of course I had many, many crushes, starting with being "in love" with my pastor when I was in the third grade and going from there (more often than not with someone at least vaguely close to my own age), but very few actually reciprocated in the way I longed for. This goes a long way to explaining why I married the first long-term boyfriend I had when I couldn't think of a reason to break up with him. For most of my life I could barely get a guy to so much as look at me. And now someone actually wanted to be with me? And marry me? God only knows that might never happen again. It wasn't like I had them knocking down the doors.
Self-esteem, or the lack thereof, is a bitch. Because I was still that awkward, gangly girl that I used to be, even though I was dying my hair occasionally and had finally started to grow into my nose. I was still desperate for attention and love, though now it was most definitely the wrong kind of attention.
Let's fast-forward a few years, shall we? I started dressing vintage, started taking pole dance classes, and basically found my own self-esteem amongst the wreckage of my life. You know the story by now, if you know me at all or have been reading this blog.
Am I still awkward? Hell yes! I might be less gangly than I used to be, due to a love of tacos and cupcakes, but under my red hair I'm still the same dishwater-blonde nerd with a big nose, pale skin, and (not-quite-as) small boobs. I'm still not blonde and tan and perfect. I'm not anything resembling perfect, and God knows I never will be.
But none of that means I can't be totally into myself and the way I look. I wish more people were, honestly.
So yeah. I take a lot of selfies now.
I'm thrilled to be in a place where I love myself, where I can have fun with what I wear and how I look, and where I can inspire my friends and acquaintances to send me their own selfies and to express themselves in ways they might not normally.
Maybe taking so many selfies is vain. And maybe it is completely insane that I haven't repeated an outfit in two and a half months.
But I'd rather be this girl than the one I used to be.
I wish someone would have told me, all those years ago, that I was beautiful the way I was (all elbows and knees and nose), that I shouldn't try to fit in, and that I shouldn't settle. I wish someone would have told me to worry less about being popular and more about being myself.
But I guess I got there.