By now you probably have heard of the “No Makeup Selfie” movement that has been praised and criticized by many. It has raised millions for Cancer Research U.K. although they initially had no part in it. Many women from all walks of life have taken a picture of themselves to raise money and awareness.

Rumor has it the trend started when Laura Lippman took a picture to support her friend Kim Novak when she was criticized for her looks  at the Oscars. It took off and then someone used it to raise money for Cancer Research U.K.

Some people call these selfies narcissistic as most people feel that is what a selfie is. Some people cannot understand what the need is to take a picture without makeup. They ask if it is necessary and some question what this has to do with raising millions.

I cannot answer those questions. I am just an almost 40 year old man who will defend selfies.

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I take “Selfies” like millions of others.

You might be wondering why a grown man would take a selfie. I mean, if you look on the Internet you will hear numerous people bashing them. A lot of people take them and very few defend them.

Most people think that people who take them are narcissistic people who only care about showing the world how hot they are. They want more and more attention. We are the “Look at me. LOOK AT ME!” generation…

Or it might just be the complete opposite.

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See, I take selfies at the gym. I pose for the mirror; sometimes even hold a heavy weight to show more definition in my arms. You might think it is just to show off…

Or it might be because I was once over 400 pounds. To this day I am embarrassed to ask anyone to take a picture of me. I wait until everyone is not around before I snap a picture. I take it to show myself how far I have come. I post it as well to show others where I was and where I am now. I do not put taglines like “What’s your excuse” or “I rock you do not”.

I post them to remind myself never to go back.

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I take selfies with my kids. I am sure that you have seen the picture of the woman taking the picture of herself with the child in the background. I am no different. I go to the bathroom and my four year old son will run in…

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I take selfies in the car. When I picked up my wife’s sunglasses instead of mine. And then I realized I also had a Vera Bradley mini “diap diap” bag next to me …

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I also take selfies in dirty bathrooms.
I pose in the mirror and snap the picture.
The dirtiness of the bathroom is not my concern…

My concern is the fact of gaining back weight. I took a picture when I gained back 80 pounds of my 220 pounds lost two years ago. I was lost and in a rough place. I was gaining weight and felt like I could not stop. So I did stop for one moment to take a picture. I did not want to forget the feeling I had. I did not want to forget the anger that was inside me. I wanted to always look at this picture to remind myself I cannot go back.

I did. I lost the weight I gained.

I take selfies all the time. A guy who refused to take pictures five years ago.

Selfies for the most part are not about being self centered or shallow. You can disagree but I truly believe they are more than that.

They are about building people up. The girl in the dressing room who takes the selfie of an outfit because she finally thinks she looks good enough to post. Or the woman who posts a selfie at the gym. The same gym she was embarrassed to go to a couple years back. Or the celebrity who posts a selfie of herself after having a child. To show people what she looks like afterwards. Or the mom taking a selfie at a bar. The same mom who never gets to put on make up and go out.

When I was over 400 pounds I refused pictures. In fact I refused to see people. I did not want others to see what I have become. I lost over 60 pounds just to have the courage to have my wife take a picture of me. Photos are not my favorite, but I need them to see where I am at. To see who I have become.

I am sure you have put a selfie of yourself up online. Maybe you had a great hair day or you just felt great. I will tell you…

I love the “No Makeup Selfie” movement. I do think that for some it is brave to put up a picture when you ALWAYS wear makeup. I do think that it has nothing to do with narcissism but more to do with people wanting to help with clicking a button. If it raised millions and did not hurt anyone, what is the problem?

Never be ashamed to post a picture of yourself. Never be embarrassed about putting up any selfie no matter what the critics say.

Because it is much worse when you do not have the courage to take a picture of yourself.

Trust me, I have done it for years.

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