I’ve noticed something recently. There are a lot, and I mean, a lot, of selfies on Instagram. I know it’s always been that way, but just lately it’s really stood out to me.
And I get it, it’s a photo-based platform and sometimes you want to say something and just don’t have a pic, and maybe you’re having a good hair day/skin day/makeup day/jewelry day and you feel great and why not take a pic of yourself and share it with some words of wisdom and make the world a little brighter?
It’s just, well, there are only so many selfies I can look at before I get tired of it.
And you guys know me, it’s not like I haven’t posted selfies (many, many selfies) of myself. Remember when I went through this phase?
I’m not here to spread hate for the selfies. If you want to post pics of yourself, click away. To each their own.
I have, however, been slowly unfollowing accounts that are primarily posting selfies and not much else.
It’s one reason why I’ve always found Between Carpools so refreshing. Part of their brand is that they don’t post pics of themselves. They use gorgeous stock photos (or photos that the very talented Esti Waldman takes), but the focus is entirely on their content, and not on their appearances or personalities. And I really like that, for a few reasons.
It frees them from the pressure of being “on” all the time in public. They can be very successful online, but still maintain some privacy for themselves and their families. That is huge, in my opinion, especially in a society at large that fetishes celebrity.
On another level, it’s saying that their minds and ideas are more important than their appearances, that the focus is on their content, not on becoming an influencer.
Yes, please. Let’s have more of that.
They just came out with a new, amazing cookbook (which you should get if you haven’t yet), and they made a very cute promo video that cleverly illustrated the process of creating the cookbook. I thought it was very well done and it was interesting to see the behind-the-scenes steps.
And, in keeping with their brand, it showed glimpses of them, but totally retained their privacy.
It was perfect.
It’s also the internet, and, unfortunately, there were quite a few comments made by people getting on their soapboxes about how horrible it was that they didn’t show their faces.
Someone even replied to my nice, supportive comment trying to criticize the team at BCP for being part of the problem in frum society.
Haters gonna hate.
As much as I support the cause of not erasing women in frum publications, I also support and respect the choices of women who don’t want to put themselves out there, who value their privacy, and who are a breath of fresh air amid the internet culture where the cult of personality looms large.
I cannot stand the bullying nature of the comment sections. If you want to see real change, the comments section is not the place to do it.
It made me sad to see people not being able to appreciate the nuance that you can both support the idea of not erasing woman AND support woman who choose to remain unseen. I find that idea that all women must choose to be seen really problematic. I find the idea of policing just how much someone wants to show themselves really problematic.
So, friends, if you want to post your selfies, go right ahead. If you want to never post selfies, go right ahead.
But if you can’t say anything nice, well, you know the rest of the aphorism.
Have a beautiful Rosh Chodesh!!! Eat a latke or a doughnut! It’s Kislev!