“Mumma, I am looking so pretty na?” asked Miss D posing in front of the mirror.
“Yes D, you are looking beautiful”, I replied looking at her smilingly.
“My hair?” she asked again.
“You have made them very nicely today”, I stole a glance and I continue looking into my phone.
“My dress is so pretty na?” she asked again grinning.
“Yes D, it’s beautiful”, I replied. Doesn’t she just loves herself!
“Mumma, let’s take a selfie”, she said rather excitedly. I could hear the chirp in her voice.
Miss D picks up my phone, unlocks it and opens the camera. She is 5 years old and she is extremely proficient in using my phone. She figures out the perfect angle and pouts. Then makes some funny and some cute faces and goes on a selfie spree.
This wasn’t something that surprised me. She loves taking selfies and likes to share them too (yes, she asks me to share with a select few family members). That doesn’t bother me too. What caught my attention was her love for dressing up just for selfies, and that made me think. Am I allowing her to become a narcissist?
She keenly observes me every time I take a selfie. I like to click my picture when I think I am looking my best, and I am in the mood. But who does not, these days? A lot of social experiments and studies have been conducted about why do we love taking our own pictures? If I ask myself why I take selfies; I’d say because it is a great way to capture a moment with friends or family. Or maybe to show my friends or followers what I’m doing that day or at that moment. But that’s not really true. If I ask myself really honestly, I’d say it’s a part of showing everyone “BRAND SURBHI” – This is what I look like and this is how I spend my time. Our sense of identity, of who we actually are, is defined by what others think of us.
While selfies can be seen in a somewhat negative light, they can also play a very positive role in people’s lives. Selfies help people depict a version of themselves to the world that says “Look at me. This is who I am.” Sometimes, it can be a very powerful statement and inspire people towards great things in their lives, while at other times, it is simply something that helps them get through the day. A selfie is a statement to the world. It allows people to stand out among the masses.
As a mother, my aim is to make my daughter very confident in herself and be totally free-spirited and uninhibited. Having said that, she is in the right age to learn the difference between right vs. wrong and good vs. bad, that will help her to understand situations and take right decisions, and I am working towards it.
Miss DD doesn’t have any social media presence, except what we put across once in a blue moon. As parents, we are very cautious about sharing our kids’ pictures on any social platform. Even then, Devyani just loves taking her own pictures. My observation says that this is purely because of the fact that she simply enjoys it – making faces and clicking pictures! That also makes her feel pretty, confident and boosts her self-esteem; and no, she is NOT seeking your or my approval of her appearance. Isn’t this what I want for my daughter and all of us for our daughters?
In my earnest opinion, that is NOT narcissism.
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