It is often quite surreal to see how you have changed over the years in photos. My hair has been every colour under the sun, I've gained weight, lost weight, gotten better at makeup, moved across the country, and most notably for me, improved my mental health drastically. It might seem like an odd thing to say, but selfies have really helped me see how much I have improved, and how much I have grown in that respect.
I suffer with social and general anxiety, and depression. I have seen therapists and taken medication, and thanks to cognitive behavioural therapy, I am unrecognisable from the person I was. I was incredibly lucky to find something that worked so well for me, and that I was able to improve my mental health.
Between 2006-2012 I was in an on and off relationship that was unhealthy and extremely emotionally manipulative. Thanks to selfies, I can physically see the toll it took on me. These photos were all taken in that time.
I was 'happily' showing off my new nose piercing here.
Celebrating my parent's 25th wedding anniversary in an amazing custom dress.
I look pretty miserable right? While I was looking for photos of myself from this period of time, it was actually really hard to find any, because I took so few.
And supposedly smiling. But I'm not. I can see that I'm not. Look at my eyes, those aren't eyes that are smiling or happy. This was Christmas Day. I still look so unhappy.
I was the right kind of age to love Myspace, the first generation that really took to selfies and documenting yourself, so over the years I have taken thousands of photos of myself. I've taken them because I felt cute, because I needed validation, or wanted attention, to show off a new outfit, or for so many other reasons. And they tell me such a story.
Look at the difference in smile between the photo above and this one. I look positively ecstatic in this one! (And I was, I met Patrick Stewart, dream fulfilled!). It is so obvious how happy I am, there is no comparison.
A random selfie with Stu. My eyes are smiling, and I feel happy just even looking at this photo.
And a recent random selfie to document new makeup I got. The difference in my smile is huge for me.
Taking selfies, and being able to look back on my old selfies, helps me realise how much I've changed. Mental health is a journey, and I can see how far I've come thanks to these photos. So often selfies are lauded as vanity, as egotistical, but I love them. Because if I was feeling good enough to take a photo of myself, that's an awesome day! I wish every day was a selfie day. I never used to take photos of myself, because I didn't think I was pretty, or cute. I do now, and that is major.
My selfies help tell me a story. That show me the sad quiet girl I was, and now the beautiful, bright and happy girl I have become. I consider selfies a big part of my journey towards self love. They tell me that I've learnt to stop being so afraid of myself, that I was worthy of feeling pretty and loved, and that I can love myself. I am proud to be someone who takes selfies and shares them regularly. Because the old Kitty would never have dreamed of doing it. She would never have dared to do it.
I love selfies, and I hope you do too.