I’ll never be this young again; I’ll never be this thin again. I’ll never look this lonely again. The camera clings to my imperfections – a ripple of stubborn belly fat that refuses to be moved; the squint in my eyes, the harsh sharpness of my nose at certain angles. The obscure, yet apparently desirable to some, shape of my body. Which, by my own admission, is horribly out of proportion. Masculine legs and a feminine waistline are an unflattering prelude to my boyish slumped-shoulders which make my head look the size of a pea. My soon-to-be-dated hairstyle hangs above my over-tweezed eyebrows like a bleached shower curtain; my skin-tight jeans hug my legs and further illuminate the accidental androgyny that defines my figure. These moments are worth documenting and capturing. Photos of my body, both naked and clothed, were once a private show. Now my borderline-pathological need to be complimented, which recently became engaged to my dented self-esteem, demand I post these photos online so I may seek the approval of complete strangers. My feverish need to be considered desirable has, once again, put my ego is at the mercy of millions of strangers.
I look different in person than I do online. For one, I can’t soothe the harshness of my ageing-face with a filter in real life. I also can’t immediately bleach my teeth or intensify the whiteness of my eyes. I can’t remove blemishes or just delete myself and try again. Imagine walking in and out of a room until you found the perfect angle and lighting that made your entrance ‘just right’? You’d be there all day – well, I would anyway. Walking into a room doesn’t fall into my zone of terror as it’s a very fleeting moment. It’s gone as quickly as it came around. The same applies for being naked. Getting naked feels better on some days than it does others, that’s for sure. It’s good when you can see some muscle definition and tone; it’s bad when you’re bloated or have diarrhoea. There is a difference that rings true between real life scenarios and being alone, in your room, armed with your phone, though. The beauty of the selfie is that you’re the boss; you are in control. When you’re naked in public (when you are with a sexual partner or if you’re coming out of a uterus) you have very little control, other than being able to dim the lights, or make them drink more vodka. I try very hard to look good naked when I’m about to/just finished have/having sex with someone. Ultimately though they will see the unsavoury sides of my body. The parts that scream LEAVE ME ALONE will be on full display at some point. If I am alone and taking selfies, then I can slosh through ten photos and quickly land on a good one, or more commonly I can grudgingly scroll through 100 and still be unsatisfied. Either way though, I am in charge.
Yes. I think this selfie will do.