In our capitalist, career-driven society, we tend to conflate our productivity with our self-worth. A lot of people are experiencing stress over the sense of wasting their days during quarantine, but I, for one, cannot relate because I know my days are filled to the brim with taking thousands of selfies that no one will ever see.
It’s important to remember that personal fulfillment can look like anything. For me, it looks like turning my camera roll into a never-ending grid of nearly identical photos of my face. And what started as commemorating a particularly good skin day has turned into a passion project that imbues my days and nights with meaning.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, from the obvious (good lighting) to the unexpected (using the front cam to check for food in my teeth, then figuring I might as well get a few shots in while I’m there). Every golden hour, every period of waiting for my friend to answer my FaceTime is now an opportunity to grab a still of my mug: A subject that is endlessly interesting to me because I am Me.
After I retire from a couple hours of taking front facing, mirrored pictures of my face at slightly different angles, I might open a book, and then take some more selfies (but this time with fun Instagram filters).
So you see, to me there could be no more “productive” activity than taking 1,376 selfies over the course of one afternoon, all while asking provocative questions like, “What do I look like?” or “Should I try smiling in this one? No, it doesn’t work.”
These images will remain in the Cloud for all time: A document of history, a diary of an anonymous face, a shrine to the peak of my beauty that I could never appreciate while I had it. But I will never ever share them or put any of them on social media because, like, I’m not vain like that or anything.