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Improve Your Self-Esteem: Take a selfie

Posted April 10, 2014 by Melissa diLeonardo in Life After Five
My favorite #selfie. Who knew I could like an image captured after a long, sweaty run?

My favorite #selfie. Who knew I could like an image captured after a long, sweaty run?

Love them or hate them, #SELFIES can be found plastered all over social media. And in a world dominated by social media that means selfies are everywhere. Naysayers tout such photos as vain, creating a digital history that eliminates photos of bad-angle double chins, mid-sentence awkward smiles, and closed eyes. But I wonder if there is an upside to these calculated snapshots. Is the selfie vain, or could it be a means to greater self-love, care, and confidence?

I was out running last week and encountered a woman taking a selfie. Always weird, right? I know the first few times I stopped to take a selfie I felt exposed….and kind of silly. (Kind of?!) Back to the gal on the street: She was smiling and happy. I did not see the final product, nor know if she went #nofilter on the post, but her actions made me happy, too. In a culture where many of us (especially women) are constantly thinking we are too short, too fat, too this, to that, might the selfie teach us acceptance? Could growing comfortable with one’s own image create a balanced sense of pride, love, and happiness?

Sharing your smile (even if you staged your hair and chin angle) can be a positive thing. Your inner beauty WILL shine through, too. Maybe I am naive, but I notice this is true in my own life. As my online influence expands, I am getting over the dread of seeing myself on film or in pictures. I become comfortable with who I am and who I aim to be. The selfie is helping me accept my body type, my height, my nose, my hair color, and all of the features I sometimes view as flawed. The more I see them, and those of friends of colleagues, the more I realize we are unique and beautiful. So who cares if you primped? Work it, embrace it, share it, and own it.

About the Author

Melissa diLeonardo

Melissa is an East Coast native who has made Chicago her home! She has worked in the health and wellness field for over six years and lives to bike, hike, run, lift, and play. As a ReebokONE Brand Ambassador, Certified Personal Trainer via the American Council on Exercise, and a Registered Yoga Teacher, Melissa is down with good health. Voted “Best Personal Trainer” in the 2013 Chicago Reader’s Annual Poll and selected as a global finalist in the 2013 Life Fitness Personal Trainer to Watch Contest, Melissa instructs fitness and yoga classes throughout the north side of Chicago (spinning, boot camp, strength training). She a proud member and assistant coach at CrossFit Chicago and Master Trainer for Life Fitness Academy . Co-founder of the Chicago-based wellness collective, true-2-life.com and Program Manager for Corporate Movement at Life Fitness Corporation, you can follow her on twitter @mdsapphire. Now let's dance!

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