See Yourself Happy.

We’ve been seduced by the catwalk. And by models in magazines. Somewhere in time “pretty” became separate from “happy.” Like almost all of these photos hashtagged #selfie on Instagram. Don’t smile or your may skin crease. Don’t beam or the photographer may catch you at an inopportune moment. Don’t shine or people will think you less than serious.

#selfie1#selfie2

Partly inspired by Vivienne McMaster’s “Be Your Own Beloved” work. Partly inspired by Tess Holliday and #effyourbeautystandards.

seriousselfie

And partly inspired by this photo of me that I put on Instagram because it was flattering and I liked it. And I was just plain overjoyed that I didn’t hate it or deconstruct it or direct negative thoughts toward it.

But that’s not what I look like all the time.

Or even most of the time.

So I put on Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”, opened Afterlight, and started singing. And taking photos of myself as I did so I could see myself happy. So I could see what people see when I am happy around them, which is a good deal of the time. And using the Party Party app, I got to see (kinda) what I looked like happy.

Um, like WHOLE MINUTES OF HAPPY, for the first time. Here are 9 of the photos.

And I was happy about the happy photos. They made me see me even more than the photo above. Even more, I felt pretty in the happy photos. So I wrote this.

prettyhappy

And I began to wonder how many of you have seen yourself happy? And liked the photos? Found them amazing and beautiful and you-like?

I don’t have a cool hashtag or acronym and I don’t care. I just want you to go see yourself happy.

So, go. Do it now. For you, your kids, your nieces, all the little people who need to see you happy more. Go see you like they do, so you can love you like they do.

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