by Sonia Azalia
Social media is more than just a virtual space for border-less interaction. Like a public journal, our feeds are a documentations of things, people, and places we find value in, to be shared with the world.
Women from different backgrounds are taking advantage of this. We can see the diversity in how each of them chooses to portray themselves. It’s the only space where we get to take control of how we want others to see us based on what we’ve posted. It is the perfect platform to express ourselves as more than a pretty face, due to how common it still is for a woman’s appearance to be objectified.
Those who choose not to publicize their physical features see it as an act of veiling. Without a face to present, there is only the mind and heart to publish, which will draw our physical image inside the heads of those observing our feeds behind their screens.
Those that cultivate this philosophy become creative with their feeds; either filling it with landscape photographs, aesthetic curation, inspiring quotations, or even snaps of their artworks—anything ‘faceless’ that reflects who they are. Poetess Nayyirah Waheed synonymously expresses this act on the last line of one of her prose texts: “Art may be the only space a woman could be whole without being seen”.
The question is, in order to shift people’s attention from the surface of the physical beauty to the depths of our true selves, is being ‘faceless’ the ultimate way to express it?
Some, with the same intent, find this restricting. Rather than hiding their faces away, they choose to present it in a way that challenges us to look beyond the physical. Portraits of WoC beauty captured by photographer @amaalsaid and curated by @bebeautifulLA have successfully showcased rawness, delicacy, mystery, and charm to thousands of observers. Photographs like these have inspired many to embrace both the inner and outer self as two forms of beauty that correspond with each other and that need to be celebrated wholly, which is what the #feministselfie is all about.
An image is worth a thousand words, and each of us have all the power in our fingertips to make ours authentically define who we are.