#SeeMySelfie is a month long social experiment/photography project in which participants explore self representation, acceptance, audience and identity through the medium of self portrait. The project is a collaboration between Girl Gang Manchester and Girl Gang Sheffield, running nationally for the month of May, going on to be an exhibition and photography book later in the year.
I love the concept of Girl Gang and have done some work for the Sheffield group before by writing some poetry for their Tarot Cards. (I have the most random and weird job and I love it!) So the guys from Manchester got in touch with me to talk to me about their latest project #SeeMySelfie and to ask if I would be involved. I loved the concept and thought hells yeah!
“Are selfies a powerful space in which women can reclaim and celebrate their own image? Or symptomatic of the narcissism of 21st century culture? Do they allow women to publicly exude self confidence and explore their identity creatively? Or do they reinforcing the idea that a woman’s image is her most powerful asset?”
The month long social experiment exploring self portraiture, self representation and self-acceptance asks members of the public to join the group by taking a selfie every day of May using their prompts as a stimulus, from ‘Eyes closed’ to ‘worst angle’, you are encouraged to get creative and share your take.
Though we are half way through May, you can still get involved, it’s not too late. Simply sign up for the daily emails at email@example.com and you will receive a email every morning with the title of that day’s selfie as well as a photograph or link to a relevant article.
If you want to share your pictures either every day or occasionally, you are asked to upload them using the hashtags #SeeMySelfie and tag either @girlgangmcr @girlgangsheffield, include your thoughts/feeling about the picture or the process of taking it in the caption of the photograph. This can either be a few words, a whole essay or even a poem/song, whatever you fancy.
The project has been an interesting one so far, I thought it would be simple and a bit of fun but the daily provocations have actually been quite challenging and it has pushed me emotionally and mentally. The idea of a selfie is a pretty self obsessed and egotistical thing, we share images of ourselves more now than ever before. But this project shows that selfies can have a purpose, they can make you think, they can be social and they can do good.
The challenges so far have been:
Day 1 – Introduce Yourself
I’m Sam, 34, ever changing body, ostomy bag, writer, speaker, so bad ass… My surgeries have made me feel proud to be still standing, they remind me that I have one body and it is a miracle. My selfies show the world that I have no shame. I’m in my 30s, half Indian, northern, covered in scars, plus size and have an ostomy bag. I’m as far from the media ideal as you can get, but fuck that. I love my self(ies).
Day 2 – Selfie with your eyes closed
Today we got our new chickens – it’s been a year since we had some and so it’s super exciting. I grew up as a city girl, but I’ve grown into a country woman. This beady eye is looking out for me.
Day 3 – Try something new
I thought I’d try a selfie of shadows and silhouettes…
Day 4 – Look how you feel
I feel gobby. I speak out about things that people feel uncomfortable about. I was always told I was a loud mouth, I just decided to put it to good use.
Day 5 – A selfie just after the shower
For 6 weeks, my sister and her family from Australia has been staying with us. There’s 8 of us in the house meaning not enough hot water to go round… She goes home today and I’m devastated. I’d have all the cold water every day to get to hang out with my big sis. Today is going to be a tough one
Day 6 – Take a selfie from your best angle
Ok, best as in most attractive? Then this probably isn’t it. But I took this photo at 7 this morning on a walk with my dogs and the husband. I love that it shows my terribly uncoordinated dress sense. But mainly I love that for the first time in ages I felt well enough to be up and out walking at 7am. Xx
Day 7 – A selfie from your worst angle
I really dislike my many chins! I always try and pose in a way that hides them. I also hate photos of me looking sad, I tend to be all toothy grins or silly faces. I’m surprised at just how uncomfortable I am at sharing this photo.
Day 8 – A selfie in a place you wouldn’t normally take one
After such a grim start to the year, I wouldn’t have believed I’d be in a bikini, eating ice lollies and sunbathing in the garden of our own home in May… But here I am!
Day 9 – Your most commonly used selfie pose/expression
I feel happy, confident and at ease in this photo.
Day 10 – The first selfie you take
I’m a bit hungover today, spent the morning working, this afternoon is house cleaning. I don’t wear makeup or fancy clothes when I am in the house, and as I work from home I can most often be found in comfortable clothes without my hair or makeup done. I love wearing nice clothes and getting glammed up but I just don’t feel the need to do it every day.
Day 11 – A selfie which shows your whole body
I don’t feel like taking a selfie today, I’m sick. I have a lingering chest and throat infection because my immune system is so fucked that I can’t shake bugs off. I also have a blockage in my stomach. I don’t have a large intestine so sometime food gets stuck in my small intestine and can’t come through my stoma – I’m tired and feeling sorry for myself. So you get a photo of my whole body, but not my face.
Day 12 – Take a selfie highlighting your best feature
I have a heart birth mark on the sole of my foot, and I was thinking it represents my best feature, my heart. I think and hope that I am kind, caring and full of love. I hope that when I’m no longer on this planet, that those who know me would say I was kind.
Kindness is totally underrated yet always necessary ❤️
You can follow the rest of my month of #SeeMySelfie on my instagram page, do search the hashtag though and see all the other people taking part. I feel like I have ‘met’ some really interesting people in the past couple of weeks, just through viewing their selfies and I can’t wait to see what is still to come!
Get involved with #SeeMySelfie by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and to see what else Girl Gang are up to, head over to their website now.