I recommend that you try this on your next birthday. Grab your cell phone and stand in front of a mirror. Now, turn your hips away from the mirror, your shoulders towards it, suck in your belly, arch your back. Lift the cell phone above you and angle down. Now click and delete until you take the most flattering picture possible. There you have it: your Birthday Selfie.
This idea came to me after following too many self-titled “fitness experts” on Twitter. These twenty-somethings delight in taking pictures of their fit bodies in dimly lit spaces at flattering angles. The men slick their abs in oil then flex and twist. The women don sports bras, tiny shorts and arch into uncomfortable looking thinness. I was finding my Twitter feed filled with images that I guess were supposed to be motivating. I found them annoying.
So the first thing I did on the morning of my birthday was unfollow anyone who had tweeted a picture of herself in booty shorts. The next thing I did was try to create my own fit looking selfie. And you know what, it wasn’t that hard. The right camera angle, a flattering twist and flex and I, too, could look pretty darn good.
A wise woman once told me, “This is probably the best you’ll ever look so you might as well enjoy it.” I was sixteen and I didn’t believe her. Surely some day my skin would clear up, my legs would get slimmer, my hair would de-frizz and turn silky and blonde. Someday I’d look like the models that taunted me from on the pages of Seventeen Magazine. But that someday never happened and I spent a whole lot of time feeling bad about it.
One advantage I found in turning 41 is I am no longer so gullible. I am not fooled by pictures of young and fabulous beauties. I’ve seen one too many editions of Stars Without Make-Up to think that celebrities are looking glamorous every day. And after my selfie-experiment, I do not believe that everyone who shows their abs on Twitter would look the same if I past them on the street. Its smoke and mirrors…or more accurately these days…filters and angles.
So I urge you to do as I suggest and take a flattering selfie. You don’t have to save it. You don’t have to show a soul. But I suspect that when you find the right angle, you will impress yourself with your own hotness. And at that point, you might not want to lose that image.
I’m happy I have my 41st Birthday Selfie and I’m not going to delete it. It just might be the best I ever look and, you know something, I’m fine with that.