There’s no denying we’re living in the age of the selfie. In 2014, Google found that 93 million selfies a day were taken—and that’s just on Android devices! Kids, in particular, love selfies. There’s not a mom out there who unexpectedly finds a bunch of selfies in their phone after loaning it to their kids. For teenagers, selfies are a distinct way to express themselves.
But wait a minute—isn’t taking selfies bad and a sign of narcissism? There are sure plenty of studies and hand-wringing articles about how destructive selfies can be to self-esteem. But there’s a growing body of research that disagrees. So embrace your kid’s selfie habit! Stop worrying! Here’s why.
Boosting Self Esteem
Dr. Pamela Rutledge, Director of the Media Psychology Research Center, has found that selfies can actually help heal self-esteem. “Selfie-takers experience of personal selfies as a positive can also reflect the ability of image to allow us to revisit and appreciate past positive events, increasing positive emotions,” she said in a recent article. Within reason, of course. “Excessive time spent in any behavior or rumination over others’ perceptions and the need for others’ approval can be problematic,” she said. “Balance is the key in the use of all digital tools.”
Control Over Their Own Image
Selfies allow your kids to explore how they want the world to look at them, and how they view themselves. Sure, there can be body image issues, particularly during those years of wearing braces (this is why kids love Invisalign clear aligners for teeth straightening; no need to hide that smile! Or worry about food getting stuck in their braces). Selfies are more authentic and make kids feel in control.
Parents of big kids already know this: you’re going to be so grateful for the treasure trove of photos your kids took of themselves. Once your kids grow up and are loose in the world, you’re going to beg them to take selfies and send them to you. Might as well celebrate the ones they are taking now!
Smiling Faces Make People Smile
Smiles are irresistible, even in photos. Scientifically, a real smile is called a “Duchenne smile” after the neurologist who determined which muscles are used when we smile. We all know smiling can make us feel better, and seeing smiling photos of the people who matter in your life can make you smile in return. It helps to have a beautiful smile, of course, and Invisalign treatment can help.
Selfies Help Kids Get More Comfortable With Their “Flaws”
When most parents were growing up, the only images you saw of people were very curated—particularly of celebrities. Today, though, celebrities use selfies to show how much they are just like regular people; look no further than Chrissy Teigen’s famous stretch mark photo. Loving your flaws is a big part of selfie culture.
Insight Into Your Kid’s Mood and Feelings
When your kid won’t talk to you, maybe their selfies will. We all know that as kids get older they share less with their parents, and sometimes they won’t even talk to us at all (hey, we’ve all had a door slam in our face, right?). Taking a look at the photos they take of themselves can give you a bit more of an idea about what’s going on in their heads, and we can use all the help we can get!
Selfies Help Us Remember Adventures
While that beach sunset photo is lovely, vacation photos are so much better when you’re in them. Encouraging your kids to take selfies while on vacation will allow you to cherish those memories more in the future. Just don’t do anything dangerous or stupid like stand near the edge of a cliff for that perfect selfie, okay?
Selfies Are Reshaping Beauty Standards
Selfies can be a rebellion against restrictive beauty standards. From stars like Demi Lovato posting make-up free selfies every week to plus size fashion bloggers, the selfie has allowed us to see whole new ways of being beautiful. That’s definitely something to celebrate.
There’s an art form to a good selfie, from positioning to light to props. Kids exploring these factors on the road to a “worthy” selfie teaches them how to take a good photos—and that will be a great skill set to have when they enter the workforce, given how image driven the world is today.
Taking Selfies Is Fun!
Yes! Whether they are silly, serious, beauty-focused, or just a way to pass the time, taking selfies can be a blast. Kids love to include their friends when they post selfies, so it’s actually social too! Don’t worry so much about selfies. They can be great for your kids!
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This post was sponsored by Invisalign clear aligners, the most advanced clear aligner system designed to transform your teen’s smile and life. No other clear aligner is backed by the data and experience of 4.5 million cases.