So it all started when I posted this photo on Instagram last week. And I posted it because I was happy with it. And because I was super happy to be happy about a photo of me. It felt like a success (perhaps a somewhat pathetic success, but still a success).*
However, my mind kept going back to an #effyourbeautystandards photo (NSFW-ish) I saw last week by the Instagram user _redlipsandliner_. How happy she looked. How fully and completely joyful. I even saved it on my phone, because it hit me so hard how I don’t equate happy photos with beautiful photos of me. Ever. Happy me is not beautiful me in my mind. So I wrote this.
And looked at other people’s #selfies on Twitter. Not a lot of people using #selfie seemed to think their smiles were worth showing either.
And so I put on some Taylor Swift and took happy photos of me to see what I looked like. In succession vs. just one photo in isolation. Dorkily, it’s kind of the first time I have ever seen myself happy over a period of several minutes.
This is what happened.
You can read it a bit more concisely here, because I couldn’t decide which version was better. Revealing the photo of me, not revealing it? Making a longer post or a shorter one?
And I feel like a total dork for being happy about the happy photos, like really, honestly, practically-bone-shattering happy. Then I checked Facebook and a friend posted this and my whole mood changed. It triggered the living crap out of me. (My experiences were different from hers, but still, whoa.)
And I started cowing in my own house. My shoulders crumpled. My heart constricted. My head bowed. My throat felt like it was closing up. I was holding back tears suddenly after a day post-happy photos of awesomeness. Because a long long time ago, some people took the happy from me, sucked it out like marrow. (Again, it wasn’t the same, so please don’t feel sad, okay?)
And then liking, loving the pretty, happy me suddenly became a rebellion. A celebration. Standing tall instead of trying to be tiny and unseen. And I probably won’t remember what day this happened a year from now, ten years from now, but this video is proof. Proof that a happy me is a pretty me.
So, I’m wondering, when was the last time YOU saw yourself happy? (And liked it!)
You, too, deserve to take back your happiness. Go find it, now. Maybe it’s just me that has this problem. But maybe, maybe not.
*For anyone wondering what this has to do with craftivism… A happy craftivist is a better craftivist.