Snap You

Selfies as a self-care mechanism to battle poor body image and suicidal idealisations, owning yourself and your image even as an underdog according to Western civilisation.

I would say it shows your age
when you complain about selfies,
but that would be ageist,
so I’ll just say it shows your privilege
and also your lack of empathy.

Owning your image and loving it
does not automatically mean
that you don’t own your insides and love them.
Your character, your intelligence,
your sense of humour.
You can feel beautiful and in control
of your outsides too.

In a consumerist society
it can be pretty intimidating
when a little girl, a queer, a non-binary,
like what they see in the mirror
view of their mobile phone
and know that their dazzling looks
cannot be entirely owed
to contemporary technology.

They were the sole creators of themselves.

It also alienates historians
who have to deal with fourteen
year-old Samuel Pepys
keeping track of the grimmest days,
the brightest days,
and the sociopolitical changes
as living legacy
to show our grandchildren
that textbooks will never contain
the spirit of the times.

You might become irritated
about the fact that mainstream media,
science, educations and the upper
echelons of society are losing grip
from the scepter that points out
what works and what doesn’t.

Kids have no one to consult
about their right to live and be
but themselves.

So next time you complain
that your niece constantly pouts at her smartphone
and suddenly grabs you for a Snap
or an Insta
or whatever that keeps her
still next to you,

you should be grateful
that she wants to remember you,

and — as many parents,
aunts, uncles,
grandparents, friends,
mourning every nanosecond
with every quark of their being
someone who was so often told
that their image and identity
weren’t worthy living legacies
that they threw themselves into the sea,
turned to foam and disappeared,
not before cremating every evidence
of all they were or could have been —

that she wants to remember herself.

Part of the series How to Leave the House in Times of Trouble. Written and filmed for Pangaea Poetry World Slam. 2016