Thursday, July 23, 2015

AM~Erica's Storyteller Confessional

So anyway...

I'm a story teller:
I love telling stories.
I'm the most story-telling storyteller
to try to tell a story.

If I've said it once, I've said it hundreds of times (and will continue to do so as long as needed), I am a storyteller.

Everything I post about is a story about something going on in my experience of life. Whether I've stumbled onto it or created it, it's still within my experience...and I don't mind sharing. BOOM! A story to be told.

Whether it's in the way I dress, a way I celebrate, any makeup I choose to wear, the accessories I put on, with family, with friends...take your pick of what I share, it's about telling a story. Even the characters I create usually have a backstory.

I even like expanding on one particular aspect of an experience to form a story. There's greater meaning in much of what I come across. Or at least in my perspective.

Sometimes, I have an odd perspective. That's how it is.

One of the avenues of storytelling that has actually been raised in a manner of shaming is the selfie.

Ah, the selfie!

Love 'em or hate 'em, they have taken over our social media feeds, texts, snapchats, etc. You name it, there's probably someone attaching a selfie to it.

OK, maybe not YOU...but obviously many.

Hi. I'm Erica. I'm a taker of selfies.
(please respond with, "Hi, Erica.")

OK...I'll admit this really is merely a sampling.
There are, indeed, many more out there on Facebook & Instagram.

This has been an issue that has been swirling around the interwebz & face-to-face conversations for quite some time, now. Really it surrounds the perception of whether it's narcissism or self-expression.

In a world where we are bombarded by any given Kardashian & all connected to them, I believe this is a dark side of the selfie.

Don't get me wrong: each to their own, yo. But there's a lot that has come out of that family on the mere "merit" of a video. Not a talent or philanthropy...but a lot of "self" from it that our pop culture world has dangerously soaked up like a sponge absorbing battery acid. We want to soak it up (try to keep up with them?), yet it's very corrosive!

Still, there was a book of selfies put out by Kim. Just all these "perfect" (to her) selfies that she chose from the thousands she's taken. Whether it's how her husband chose to dress her, how she looks at a gala she somehow got invited to, how she looks in a bikini by the pool, how she looks in the bathroom mirror on that day, how the light hits her's pretty much about how she looks at any given moment. (just check out the Amazon reviews HERE) Yes, as a reminder, it is called "Selfish." It was also a top selling book.

This is a good reason why selfies have been given such a bad name. This term, along with media & pop culture, have been "Kardashian'd". For the most part...they are NOT news. Yet they are always in our faces somehow.

But I want to look beyond the Kardashian'd selfie that I have seen several take part in...and instead try a different perspective.

Just this week, I came across a couple of posts specifically about the selfie.
There's this one from Hello Giggles (HERE). I like a couple of things said in it, but wasn't fond of the overall tone of it. It's still bigger than that.
So, here's this blog post from OLD SINGLE MOM (selfie post HERE). I love this one! It's much of how I view a selfie. It should give the story of what you're doing, the mood you're in, and should make people wonder what's next! You know...telling a story.

Greater than just how you look, what if we are perpetuating a story?
Not faking a story!! Telling your story! There's a difference.

Now telling a joke with a selfie is one thing: if you're posed in front of a castle claiming it's your new's funny. But at what point is faking this too far?

In the news lately, it's come to light that rapper 50 Cent is in a lot of trouble for faking a lifestyle. He's in legal trouble and going thru bankruptcy for living the liar's life. His story was fake.
Do I believe is was probably shot at some point...yes. But to live grandly, put it out there like you're doing so...and to have it turn out to be a lie so you could appear a certain way...well, that's not OK.

Same with selfies. Are you pretending your life is awesome & great, you have the best stuff, you only take amazing trips...but it's only backdrops. Do you share your hurts & pains, too?

I do.

See, I don't mind sharing the good stuff, the fun stuff, the silly stuff...but I will share my pain & my causes, too. It's beyond just sending a silly face or posing pretending I'm hot (unless I'm outside sharing how I'm melting). How are you branding yourself? And is it hurting your image when you just post your cleavage & duck lips? (I've seen a lot of that.) Or are you greater than just that? Are you showing how your brain works? Are you showing how this experience has become a part of you? It's great you feel good about how you look in a moment...but can you "tell" why?

When a painter paints a self-portrait, or a photographer snaps a self-portrait...there's thought that goes into the results. There's a story they are trying to tell. It's part of their visual autobiography. Taking a selfie by the beach is one thing, but being semi-posed isolated by the fence, wearing a scarf, with a backdrop of many in swimwear enjoying the ocean behind you can truly tell a story of being different than many others.

A black & white shot can accentuate more in the drama or beauty of a situation that can be greater than just the color of the moment...and vice versa.

Maybe you need that great self portrait of how huge that piece of pizza is next to your head. That's right! And you can admit that you ate the whole thing...and maybe another slice or two. It tells a story.

There's also a time & place for selfies. It can be taken in the mundane. Sometimes there's tremendous story that can be told in the mundane. But it's different than "just because I was bored."
However...sometimes some amazing portraits can come from "just because I was bored."

Confusing? Yes. But it can create a story if done right.

You know what? It comes down to something like this:
There's much more interest in a story you're trying to tell about yourself. It builds connection to others. It speaks to many more than just snapping a bathroom mirror pic because you think your lashes make you look awesome.

The Hello Giggle article used the term "self-fashioning" as we really are branding ourselves in whatever we post.

For me, there's more than just "smile for the camera & say 'cheese'"'s about expression & story.

Right? At least I hope that's what you get from what I post.

And I cannot tell you to NOT post selfies. Duh! It's something I do from time-to-time. But maybe I can lay down a challenge for those of you to attempt to tell your story & treat your selfies as a visual & inspirational (or example-giving...whatever) autobiography.

So...go forth & tell your story!! In many forms: how you dress, in a blog,...even a selfie.

Join me, won't you?

* Side Note: my hubby feels very 
differently and doesn't fully agree. the hubby partakes in SOME selfies from time-to-time with some coaxing from me

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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