Okay, so, this is my first new post in like two weeks. I’m sorry! My semester is almost over and I’ll be able to spend more time blogging, for those who care! Anyway, I wanted to talk about something that happened last night. Something that initially made me really upset, but then got me thinking. Thinking about how I present myself on Facebook – which up until last night, I thought I was doing a pretty good job.
A few weeks ago I started seeing someone. I don’t want to write the details of my relationship here (now, or ever really), but for the sake of this post – yes, I’m seeing someone new. Anyway, we were sitting in my basement playing Super Smash Brothers Melee and he did something that bothered me. (Not going to go into the details with that either – sorry!). He apologized a million times and told me how bad he felt, and I laughed and told him it was fine.
I then told him, “I have no problem telling people if something they do bothers me, just so you know”.
And he told me, “That’s okay, I think that’s good.”
However, I wasn’t prepared for him to go on and tell me something that bothered him about me.
He didn’t like my Facebook profile picture.
At first I became defensive, asking him why he thought that. “What a rude comment!” I couldn’t help thinking.
But when he explained, and gave me some time to think about it, I agreed with him. My profile picture was as generic as it gets. It was not only boring, but probably a bit narcissistic. I mean, isn’t everybody’s? That’s not the point. I don’t want to be like all the other girls that take pictures and post them on Facebook just for the “likes” and attention. But that was exactly what I was doing. That was the only purpose of that profile picture. To garner attention. Of course, when I put it up, all I was thinking was, “I like this picture of myself.”
I wasn’t intentionally trying to get attention, but the photo did get quite a few likes…and I liked that. Which worried me.
So this morning I went through all my profile pictures and deleted almost all of those kind of pictures (which wasn’t a lot, maybe 6 or 7, but enough was enough). I deleted the picture he said he didn’t like, and replaced it with one of my family. I then went through all my tagged photos…and oh boy…
I found photos of myself in a bikini, tagged by a friend, from almost 4 years ago. Now – I honestly have no problems with wearing a bikini – some Christians do – but I don’t. However, posting those photos on Facebook is a cry for attention and the only people who are going to pay attention to them are, well, men. And I’m pretty darn sure they aren’t looking at the beautiful white sand or crystal clear ocean waves. So I untagged myself and moved on.
After going through all the pictures, I deleted about 20 something in total. I felt a lot more comfortable with my profile after that.
Just to be clear, I did NOT delete these photos for some guy. I even told him last night, “I’m not going to change my picture because you don’t like it”. No, I didn’t delete them for him. I deleted them because of him. Because he helped me see what I was presenting to other people – and how an innocent “selfie” (ugh, I hate that word) can be taken much more seriously than you may intend or think. As a Christian woman, there is obviously an image I want to portray. And some of the photos on my Facebook were contradicting that. I used to be SO upset and defensive when I heard other people talking about how women shouldn’t be posting photos of themselves on the beach on Facebook…I thought it was sexist and stupid.
Now, I realize…it still is sexist (because most of them would say that it’s okay for a man to post photos of himself at the beach, bare chested, glistening with water, etc. – and I do NOT agree with that; I think it’s also easy for both women AND men to make each other “stumble” and men should be aware of this when posting images of themselves half-naked. AND the Christian community should stop assuming women are asexual beings placed here to tempt men), but I also realize that I don’t want to be ogled by men, and I don’t want to be presenting myself in a way that is contradictory to what I believe.
So I cleaned up my Facebook. Maybe you should too.