I’ve been reading a lot about how vain the current generation has become; especially concerning the rise of the “selfie.” As someone who has struggled her ENTIRE life with loving herself, let me just put it out there: I get it. I GET selfies. And recently, I’ve started taking them. Why? Because I have decided that I am not this deformed and humiliating monster that I have been seeing in the mirror. I have made the conscious decision to be the one in front of the camera instead of always behind it. I refuse to be paralyzed by the incorrect, and, quite frankly, ridiculous notion that taking my own picture makes me seem self-absorbed. Sometimes, the reasoning behind a selfie is that I want to share my happiness with others, and yeah, sometimes it stems from the baser need of wanting others to tell me I look nice. Why is that a problem? Why is it wrong to want to feel validated when you’re feeling down? I’m not going to personally blow up my various news feeds with pictures of myself pouting in a bathroom mirror, but so what if I did? I’m not so sure selfie culture is about vanity, as much as it is about the need to feel legitimized. I’ve spent so much of my life feeling as though I don’t deserve to feel happy or to feel beautiful; and I am finally seeing how wrong that is. I’ve lived for years believing that my face, my body and my mind were so ugly that I was terrifying to others. So, the next time you see a picture of my smiling (or not, as the case may be) face, know that I am mainly posting it for myself; to remind myself that I, too, have a right to feel lovely.