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Selfie Posting - Narcissism or Self-Love?

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

I recently shared on my Instagram blog about selfie posting and its relationship to yoga.

Contrary to what most people would think about selfie posting as a narcissistic behavior, I opine that it is an act of self-love and embracing the entirety of our being.

Selfie and Narcissism Defined

Researchers defined selfies as “a self-portrait photograph of oneself (or of oneself and other people), taken with a camera or a camera phone held at arm’s length or pointed at a mirror, that is usually shared through social media.” There are different kinds of selfies, which may or may not include other people. The researchers examined three kinds—solo selfies; selfies with a romantic partner; and selfies in a group. (source: Psychology Today: What Is the Real Link Between Selfies and Narcissism?)

They have also examined different facets of narcissism and concluded that narcissism is not just a single trait, but a confluence of several related qualities:

Self-Sufficiency: Thinking you can do things on your own and don’t need other people.

Vanity: Concern about appearance and a tendency to admire your own physical appearance.

Leadership: Believing that you should have authority over other people, and being willing to exploit others if necessary.

Admiration Demand: Exhibitionism, feeling entitled to special status or privileges, and feeling superior to others.

They found that there is little correlation between narcissism and selfie posting. Narcissism can explain only a small amount of the selfie-posting behavior that we observe on social media. There may be many other still-to-be-uncovered factors that also influence this behavior. And this study also shows that while narcissistic men are somewhat more likely to post selfies, narcissism in women is, for the most part, unrelated to selfie-posting.

My Story

I’ve always like portraits and landscapes. During my backpacking days, I'd take pictures of faces and sceneries whenever I can. I think that they are part of god’s mysterious creations that I resonated with the most. Every image I saw seem to carry a hidden message and strangely, they've never failed to provide me a sense of belonging on this planet.

Selfie Therapy

Years ago, my personal life was in a mess and I fell into a rabbit hole, suffocated from low self-esteem, fear, anger, and gradually began to neglect my own well-being. I didn't eat right, didn't care to look at myself and not bothered to get my haircut. I was disappointed with myself and was drown by a feeling of hypocrisy, that I failed to live a yogic life. I questioned myself and my integrity. I didn't like how I looked and every time I look at myself in the mirror, all I could hear were echoes of negative comments that've been said to me.

I’ve also pretty much allowed my love for photography to drift away but I started drawing and painting faces instead. It became art therapy for me and I experienced different feelings and perspectives about things and people around me. I began to pick up details about faces and learned how to see the slightest difference in tones, shapes, lines and angles.

At that time I was still actively teaching Yoga and one day, I got a message from a local yoga magazine requesting for a profile picture of myself. A friend took a headshot for me....I looked at it carefully as if I wanted to paint a picture of myself. That moment, realisation took over. I've been neglecting myself so much that everything was shown clearly on the screen right in front of me.

Why I relate Selfie Posting to Yoga?

Traditionally, Yoga is defined as a union between our mind, body and soul. It is also a union between ourselves and the divine. When it comes to defining yoga, I’d personally prefer to use the word ‘Harmony’ as I believed union happens naturally when every aspects of ourselves are in harmony.

As you can see, I was in total disharmony with myself. But my realisation from self-neglection had brought me to a new world of self-love and acceptance. I began to take selfies regularly as a quick check to make sure that I’ve been taking care of myself properIy. I did the same to the people around me.

I supposed not every one resonates with this method but it worked for me. I’ve learned to see myself clearly through my own eyes and also made it a point to look at myself in the mirror every morning to greet myself with a big smile to start off my day.

My selfie portraits vary from properly posed and edited photos to typical mundane raw ones. These allow me to observe myself from different perspectives and see through a lens that was originally non-judgemental.

This is definitely not the only way that we could practice self-care and love, and not the only way to heal ourselves from past traumas. There are so many ways that we could use to create harmony within us.

Whatever works for yourself would be the best way.

I still meditate, do my daily on the mat practice and pray. Selfies just complements my entire practice, allowing me to grow spiritually.

𝗪𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝘂𝗽𝗼𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗶𝗻 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝗱𝗮𝘆?

If you resonate with me, I would love to invite you to join me.

However, there are 5 main things that you need to be mindful of:-

1. Appreciate every single part of yourself, from how you look to who you are.

2. Stay neutral to any comments and feedback about you.

3. Take this as a personal journey for self-care.

4. Practice this as a journaling style.

5. Be brave to be vulnerable as being vulnerable is strength.

I sincerely hope that one day, you will unlock the wisdom to look within, through the lens of your heart. ❤️

All photos were taken by myself during my travels. Please contact for permission to use.

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