Our Empowering Photo

This week Ellie Goulding, told Heat magazine that "If I did a naked selfie, it would because I worked very hard for my body. I could eat better, I could drink less, but mostly I train very hard. If I want to post a semi-naked selfie, I bloody will!" 

Her comments follow on from the trend kick started by (who else?) Kim K after the Kurvy star posted a naked selfie -to the DM's horror- '3 months after giving birth'. 

"Kim should be proud of her body," said Ellie. "There should be no rules as to what we should or shouldn't post." 

Ellie just might be right on this one. She joins a whole host of celebs who have spoken out in defence of Kim and the nude pic. Stars such as Sharon Osbourne and Emily Ratajkowski took to social media to create their own nude selfies, all in the name of female empowerment. "@kimkardashian you inspired me! #liberated#thetalk"" tweeted Sharon O.    

And in spite of the furore over Kim's naked body (how are people still getting mad about this- are they really surprised?) I 100% agree with Ellie et al. There are no rules as to how we present ourselves on social media and odds are, whatever the picture,  someone else is not going to like it. Maybe female nudes are the new avocado on toast- as in "Yeah it's great you've got it, but do we really need to see it?'

Personally I have never posted an individual selfie on Instagram - semi-nude or not. The truth is, even a fully dressed selfie makes me feel super insecure. What will people think? That I am basic? That I am self obsessed? I mean who do I think I am? With the Valencia filter? Yeah we all know that's not what you look like in real life- who you trying to kid? Whatever my state of (un)dress, selfies always remind me of the quote from Mean Girls "So you agree you think you're really pretty?". To put in bluntly: my face + a selfie = cringe. 

But the thing is, these are MY insecurities. MY problems. And don't get me wrong, I hit like on Instagram as much as the next girl when their best friend nails looking #flawless in their latest pic and I wish I felt empowered enough to post a picture of myself alone, owning my sensuality and basking in whatever flattering lighting was overhead. 

Whatever you think of the Kardashians, Kim's selfie is a self declaration of self love. She is ready for the criticism, and what's better-  she doesn't even care what it is people say. She's too busy #cashingmy80million.

Us woman don't have enough space in the world to enjoy, explore and celebrate ourselves. So to carve out our own little corner, I asked Harriet if she would join me and post a picture to celebrate our most empowered moments. 

NSFW

 

(just kidding)

 

 

The Bird: Kirsty

 

The Selfie: I don't think this picture is a particularly flattering one, but I think it is an honest representation of me. And isn't honesty pretty empowering? Here there is no filter, my hair is wet and my nose is burnt. But I like it. I look like myself. This was taken straight out the shower (luckily I had some clothes to wear lol) while I was travelling through California with my best friend last summer. We had been sleeping on beaches with our passport in our knickers for several nights and each morning my long hair would would be impossibly matted and tangled from the sand. One day I walked into a barber shop on Venice Beach and got them to lop off a good 6 inches. This was me sending the proof to my boyfriend- the chop shot if you will. To me, connecting and sharing intimate moments and stories with loved ones are what Selfies are all about. Whether you are separated by a bus ride or an ocean, there is something undeniably intimate and romantic about showing them your bare face along with a message saying that you love them. This photo reminds me of that vulnerability, that openness and of missing someone 5000 miles away. But it also reminds me of the exploration, the spotanity and the belly laughs that I had in LA. I see this picture and I am instantly transported back to a time of freedom and exploration: where sleeping under the stars, my dreams and my adventures were my only priorities. And what's more #empoweting than that? 

The Bird: Harriet

The Selfie: This photo was taken on graduation day, as I struggled to keep my robe on and tried not to have a panic attack about my impeding freedom and future. It's such an important day because, of course, I was celebrating getting my degree with the people I love (#teamjohnston). The presence of two very important people was hugely valuable to me, and what makes me value this selfie above all else. My grandpa has been saying for years that all he wanted was to live long enough to see his grandchildren make it through their education; and with me being the youngest, I think he's a very happy man right now! At 92, I'm pretty sure he slept through 90% of the ceremony, but the effort was still there! My mum was diagnosed with a very serious and rare form of cancer 18 months ago. Just before my graduation, we discovered the main bulk of her treatment had not worked, and her cancer was back. Having her at my graduation was such a moment of strength and determination; that we can survive whatever comes, that we are a team and that no matter what happens we can get through it smiling. I'm not sure I can describe how valuable moments like that are, and I'll remember it forever. 

Kirsty McKenzie