This is because I feel the need to justify taking self-portraits. This is because I always smile in person, but seldom smile in photos. This is because no one noticed. This is because I want to be noticed. This is because I want to smile. I am not happy, but I want to smile. This is because I’ve grown to love my so-called “flaws.” This is because my nose is big, my cheeks are fat, and my skin is scarred. This is because my hair is nappy, my jaw isn’t chiseled, and I don’t look ‘hard.’ This is because I was nervous about taking this photo, and more nervous about sharing it. This is because my self-created family eased that tension with their love. This is because yes, I need validation from others to help boost my self-esteem. This is because all of that is okay.
I am not the boi that turns heads.
I am not the boi who is pursued.
I am not the boi who others lust over.
That just ain’t me.
I am, however, the boi who owes it to himself to smile.
So I will.
I take my selfies because I am that guy who, unless he takes the picture or suggests it, doesn’t get his picture taken… So I point my camera at my face, most often when I am alone, and possibly bored, and I click; I upload it to Instagram, and I hold my breath because the world is cruel and I am what some would call ugly, but I don’t see it. At first I clicked so I could see what others saw, but I don’t. So now I click and post and breathe, waiting for others to see what I see: beautiful dark skin, Afrika’s son, a dream un-deferred, pretty eyes, and nice lips, and a nose that fits my face; I want them, you, to see that I am human…