For the longest time, I snickered at those who participated in the selfie craze. While traveling, I couldn’t understand why people would take a selfie instead of asking someone to take a photo. Since I travel a lot and go to many events and conferences, I found myself in need to take a quick photo and move on. By taking a lot of photos of my face, I recognized the best angles to take the picture and how to position my face in just the right way to capture great lighting and hide my blemishes. After taking hundreds of selfies, I jumped into the selfie craze with fun abandonment.
Lately, I’ve developed an appreciation for selfies. Most of my life, I’ve been vain. I know, a shocker to everybody that knows me. My hair had to be perfect and so did my clothing. I invested a lot of effort into my look to make it appear I didn’t put in a lot of effort. Being an actor probably had a lot to do with that. My looks were critiqued at every audition and at every party, I needed to stand out. In blogger terms, looking a certain way was a means to promote my brand. After a while, my aging body took its toll on me and frankly, caused depression. My growing bald spot and receding hairline made me want to stay away from mirrors. The creases around my eyes kept me from smiling because, with a smile, crows feet emerge.
One day, shortly after posting a photo on Instagram, my slightly crooked nose stopped me to pause and appreciate my face.
Looking into my own eyes, I began to enjoy my current stage of life. If my face was perfect, what story would it have to tell? My face is my cover, and this is one story you can judge by the first glance. My crooked nose tells the story of 3 broken noses (2 fights and 1 basketball game). My bald spot and a receding hairline speak of genetics, stress, and years of taking too many showers a day. The crow’s feet around my eyes speak of sun-damaged skin and the fact that I’m in my 40s. Scars on my chin and cheek tell the story I didn’t always make wise decisions.
I’ve accepted my face. Selfies have taught me to appreciate what I have and the story my body tells. When I was an actor, I prided on my nonverbal acting ability. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is a quote attributed to the playwright Henry Ibsen. As I share my aging and imperfect face, my pictures hopefully convey the tale of a man finally at harmony with his appearance and who he is and someone trying to find the perfect light.