I was down visiting family over Labor Day weekend with my dude and my cute baby, and of course, my mom wanted to get some family photos taken to hang in her hallway. And I said yes, because I have a very adorable baby, and it seemed like a good idea to have all of us in photo together, since the gang was all there.
The problem was that a bunch of the photos were taken with the camera at the level of the baby, and since was held in our laps most of the time, that meant mucho unflattering upwards angles.
Viewing the photos sent me into a tailspin. I have a really round face y'all, and upwards angles do it no favors. And while generally speaking I am very much fuck flattering and all that, I would like to look decent in photos displayed on my parents' walls, you know?
And perhaps I need to recontextualize how my round face looks and be chill with it, but right now, I am doing a lot of emotional work and self-discovery already, being in the first year of parenthood, so I just wasn't up to doing that work in that moment.
I posted how I was feeling on Facebook, and the first couple of comments were very much "yes, angles matter," with people with typically angular, socially-acceptable faces showing how upwards angles gave them extra chins. But then, THEN! Well, then my bestie Megan did something brilliant. She posted a totally upwards shot of herself with the caption "ugly selfie, no shame!" and just left it there.
No photo of her face straight on. No flattering angles. Nope. She just posted a not-cute picture of herself up on my wall, with no shame, and got on with her day.
It kind of blew my mind. Being unattractive on purpose? As a performance, almost? Showing that we all have angles and times of days where we don't look our best and that's just life. WHAT? It was awesome.
And then a bunch of other people joined in. And that was incredible. It was so silly and real and irreverent. I loved it. I continue to revisit that thread for all my gorgeous friends' silly faces, and it's just awesome.
It gave me the courage to post the unflattering photo, which I am also doing here. Because normalizing that we all have those moments, those angles -- that's a big deal. It's liberating. It's inclusive. It's humanizing. It's radical.
So, if you wanna join me in the ugly selfie challenge, post an unflattering, real photo of your mug on Facebook or Instagram and tag it #uglyselfiechallenge. Trust me, it's awesome. Freed from the burden of having to look good, you can explore what your face looks like at any angle. You'll notice things you didn't before maybe (cleft chin? extra freckle?) And you get to just be you.
Let's do this.