Parents need to take more selfies


The world we live in is superficial. There’s no denying as much. Thanks to the constant judgment inflicted on those who choose to put themselves out there for the world to see, we as a society have become accustomed to receiving abuse or praise based on how we look.

Again, this is not brand new information. However, it has affected people on a deeper level than what many have realised. Being told that people have to look a certain way, have the perfect hair, a flat stomach, great eyebrows, has made us self conscious.  

Countless times I’ve heard mothers ridicule their own bodies for being too flabby or too round. And this isn’t just on women, men feel the same way, they may just not express it as often. Feeling this way has caused a strange occurrence in the modern day of selfies and Instagram accounts filled with photos of cats and babies. There are very few photos of moms and dads.

Destroy the evidence

This isn’t a new phenomenon mind you. I myself have very few photos (almost none in fact) of my father as a younger man because he systematically destroyed them all. I know he’s not alone. I know of many who will delete photos of themselves off of people's phones or request that a photo shared on Facebook be removed.

My mother is much the same. I have photos of her as a young woman when she was slim and confident, but as she has aged and after 3 children changed her body, she shies away from the camera.

Where are the memories?

What my parents, and many other parents around the world don’t realise is that you’re not just shying away from having your photo taken. No, it goes much deeper than that. You’re telling your children that you should not be seen if you look a certain way. You’re telling your grandchildren that not having the perfect body means you don’t deserve to document your life. And most of all, you’re depriving your children, grandchildren and future generations the opportunity to hold a photo in their hands and smile at your memory.

That’s right, you won’t live forever and you know what, when I look at photos of my grandmother who left us many years ago, I don’t pay any attention to how round her tummy was or how grey her hair may have been. I smile (and cry) at the memory of her hug and her silly jokes and the bed socks she would spend hours knitting.

Memories of those we love don’t keep track of weight or clothing sizes.

So for your children, your grandchildren and the memories they’ll one day have of you, take that selfie, mom. Grab your children and get someone to take a photo, dad. Who cares if our memory cards fill up with happy family photos or our Facebook albums are bursting at the seams with smiling faces, round bellies and arms that aren’t perfectly toned?

One day that’s all that will be left and those who love you will cherish those silly snaps more than money.

Do you shy away from taking photos or do you make an effort to document your family?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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