Or How I Learned To Love The Front Camera
Anyone who’s been following me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram will notice I’ve gone a little selfie heavy lately. This is behaviour I only started noticing myself fairly recently on reflection and pre-transition, was just not a thing I did….ever. Like, seriously, my Facebook profile pic was Charles Beams for years, broken only by cartoon renditions of myself which typically looked nothing like myself. Really, I had to go back basically when I first joined Facebook over a decade ago to see an actual real life picture of my face. So what gives?
No I haven’t become some vain diva insisting you all look at my mug. Honest.
The reality is really a combination of factors but they boil down to this: Progress tracking and disbelief.
Understand that up until about half a year ago, seeing my visage in photographs viscerally grossed me out. I hated seeing that guy on the picture and having to come to terms with the fact that that vaguely George Strombo meets Shrek looking mofo was me. Any picture I was in I’d toss a wry smile and what wrestling fans will call the people’s eyebrow in order to kinda distract from my visage[note] seriously, find one picture of me closeted where I’m not doing some variation of that unless it’s like a professional photo or wedding or something, I dare you [/note]. To make me look less awkward, I suppose.
But yeah, I’d avoid the camera when I could, so even finding picture of closeted me is sparse unless they were taken before I noticed.
So really, lots of my selfies arise from a position of disbelief. I can look at myself and think, yeah, it needs work, but this is me! I’m so gobsmacked to have a reflection, photographic or otherwise, I’m not ashamed of I gotta take the pic and go “Holy shit, guys, look at this!”
The other reason is a bit more measured and technical. Transition is slow, and progress is extremely gradual. It’s easy to think nothing is happening. So tracking metrics like measurements, photos, etc… are valuable. Case in point, I was certain my arms were the exact same shape and size as last summer until I looked at a tracking sheet I made in a spreadsheet and saw a change of 1-2 inches in diameter on the forearm and upper arms respectively. But over the course of many months. So none of this registers.
So yeah, the second reason I take lots of photos of myself is sometimes just to remind me that shit is happening. Even when it feels like it isn’t.
In the back of my mind I wonder if I’m annoying anyone by doing this so much. But likely won’t stop, sorry 😉