An Open Letter To All The Selfies
Candy Philippines|July 2016

Writer and selfie connoisseur Regina Belmonte on her love-love relationship with self-portraits.

Regina Belmonte

Dear Selfies,

You and I, we’ve been doing this since before the word ‘self-portrait’ got shortened to ‘selfie,’ when said self portraits were still taken with actual cameras sometimes professional SLRs, even and not with phones and their front-facing lenses. Needless to say, we go a long, long way back.

The internet at large tells me I should be ashamed of my love for you. That you’re a shining beacon of my vanity and self-absorption. That you symbolize my narcissism, especially since I can’t pass you off as serious photography or art anymore. Oh, no, gone are the days when I would put actual consideration into the composition of a self-portrait, when the pictures I took of myself were thought-out and thematic.

I remember one instance in which I wore a white button-down shirt, ringed my eyes in messy black liner, put on red lipstick, set the timer, tripod, and focus, and then submerged myself in my bathtub for the shot, to symbolize drowning. I remember setting up a black-and-white shot of myself gazing into my mom’s ring-lit vanity mirror that picture actually got published in a book of poetry last year. By an international publisher. I could pass those off as “art” of sorts, as self-expression. Those pictures turned out great. Those days are gone.

My selfies circa now are 95% spur of the moment #GGSS (“Wow, my makeup looks good today, I should take a picture!”) and 5% totally orchestrated to hopefully inspire #thirst in certain boys who I know are online at the moment because I’m secretly kind of a creep. (Or if not inspire thirst, at the very least, remind them of two things: One, that I still exist; and two, that I’m still pretty.)

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