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When Posting Hot Selfies Gets You More Attention

By: Bethany Baird

I was thirteen years old and heading in for my first experience with the well-known photography company Glamour Shots.

My mom and I were on a special girls trip to Dallas, Texas to celebrate my birthday.

Getting my hair highlighted, nails manicured, and glamorous pictures taken was a must for this girly girl.

I loved every minute of the Glamour Shot experience.

The makeup. The hair. The clothes. The attention. The compliments. I felt beautiful and accepted.

After the photo shoot, I looked through the pictures and picked out a few of my favorites. We ordered a package and then left the store to continue on our trip.

When the pictures arrived at my house a few weeks later, I did what only every normal teenager would do. I started handing out my selfies to my friends (I guess this was the Instagram of the early 2000’s?)

Then I noticed something very interesting.

I had three different pictures in three different outfits and poses. Two of the poses were sweet and smiley and just cute all around.

The third picture was the one I considered more “grown up.”

In that picture I had a bright blue shirt on that made my eyes pop. I was laying down with my head on my arm and my hair laid out to the side.

I was looking directly into the camera with my best teenager model pose.

Not surprisingly, that picture, above all of the others, got me the “wows!” “you look amazing” “you are beautiful girl” “you look like a model” comments.

Looking back I realize that that was one of my first run-ins with the idea that looking hot would get me more attention.

I didn’t consciously take note of that experience at the time, but I slowly began to realize that looking “hot” truly would get me more attention from friends and strangers.

It’s been quite a few years since that photo shoot at Glamour Shots, but the problem I encountered has only worsened.

Just a few weeks ago we (at GirlDefined) received an email from a young lady explaining to us her problem. She said that she gets SO much more attention from her friends when she posts hot selfies. She said that when she posts a normal, non-hot, casual picture, she gets way less attention.

Sadly, this is often times true. I’ve experienced it and I’m sure most of you have too.

Because of the responses we, as modern Christian girls, receive when we post “hot selfies,” we get stuck in a trap. The trap of measuring our worth as females by the approval, attention, and compliments from others.

It’s a horrible downward spiral that never satisfies and only leaves us empty and in need of more.

It works like this.

Monday morning you post a selfie where you are looking like one hot chic. People praise you, tell you how beautiful you are, and make you feel like a million bucks. Tuesday evening rolls around and your comments are dying off. You notice that your friend, Cassie, posted a really great pic and she is now getting loads of attention.

Soon everyone forgets about you (and your total hotness) and you’re actually feeling depressed and worthless.

So, what do you do?

You come up with the solution. Post another hot looking selfie. As usual, the praises come in and you are feeling great…at least until the pic gets old and the comments die down.

The never ending trap of feeling good one day and bad the next continues on. You’ve placed your worth in the hands of friends and strangers and struggle to continue getting their praise and affirmation.

I’ve been there and it’s not a fun way to live.

I know how tempting it can be to find my worth in other people’s praises of me and it’s an empty place to be.

It always dies down and it always requires me to do more. There are always “hotter” girls to compete with. There are always ways to improve. It’s a constant battle of working to get the praise that you so desperately desire.

I want you to know that you are worth so much more than the compliments and opinions of those around you.

Your friends have no right to define your worth and you shouldn’t let them. You are going to become (or are) an insecure and hopeless girl if you do. You will always be fighting, competing, and in need of more.

Never confident and never satisfied.

I want to challenge you to become a confident, and secure young women who is focused on finding her in Someone greater than herself.

When you realize that your worth is found in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection on the cross, His perfect love for you, and His intentional design of you as His creation, you can have security and value despite what others say.

I want you to take some time to think through these questions:

  1. Why do I want the praise and attention from those around me?

  2. Is my security wrapped up in other’s opinions of me?

  3. Do I want friends who love me more for my outward beauty or for my inward?

  4. Do I have confidence and security that my value is defined by God?

  5. How can I live in a way that points others to Christ and not myself?

If you are struggling to find your worth in Christ, I would highly encourage you to take the time to read through some of our past blog posts on this topic. I would recommend:

Are Pretty Faces Worth More?

4 Ways Our Raunch Culture is Lying to You

Why Christian Girls Should Be Beautiful but Not Seductive 

I am cheering for you and want you to have the freedom and confidence that comes from looking to Christ for your identity.

Have you fallen into the “Hot Selfie” trap?

How can you find your worth in Christ and not your friends?

PHOTO CREDIT

girl taking selfie

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Radical Purity
  • Estella

    Thanks for the great article Bethany!! I’ve never really been into taking selfies or posting a lot on social media… But I do still struggle with those things that you mentioned. My problem is that I daydream A LOT. I make up scenarios in my head where I’m doing something admirable, being hilarious, looking beautiful, being godly – while the people in my life look on. I’m not sure if I have described it very well…. I think that you are right, and that it definitely comes from the desire to be loved, respected, admired. Does anybody else have the same problem? Or any advice on how to fix it? I have tried to end put a stop to it numerous times, its just that it has become a part of me :( I have been making up stories, characters and worlds in my head since I was a little girl, its just that lately the focus has turned to myself, instead of imaginary characters.

    • Tiana

      Estella, I completely understand. I do the same exact thing. I’ve been struggling with it for awhile also, but sadly, I have no idea how to stop it.

      • Grace

        @Estella and @Tiana, I totally understand this as well! Sometimes I try to humble myself by getting it into my senses that there are other girls that are just as beautiful, godly, or hilarious. Also, it helps to remember that we are literally nothing without Christ. He enables us to glorify God, and He gives us grace upon grace. Fixing your eyes on Him and seeing how you can worship Him who is the only one worthy of praise, and how you can love other people instead of flattering yourself can definitely help. We are weak, but He is strong. I am struggling with this as well and it is by no means easy. I will pray that we each learn more how we can die to our own desires and live for Jesus. :) Blessings to each of you, sisters in Christ!

        • Brittany

          Your a godly person Grace. I’d like to be as helpful and kind as you. I spent too much time being self absorbed last year. . .and living in fear. Thanks for being a great sister to those who need it! God bless.

          • Estella

            Thank you Brittany, Tiana and Grace! I am so grateful to all of you for your replies, and so glad I am not the only one struggling with this. I will definitely take your advice, and I pray that God helps us to become more others-focused! :) God bless all of you, my beautiful sisters xx

          • Grace

            Aw thanks Brittany!! but you should know I am self absorbed and fearful at times as well. I am actually a very fearful person as well. God is working in me though, and I know He wants to work in you too. Sometimes before going in social situations (because I am very introverted) I pray, “Jesus, please give me strength” and it’s amazing what He can do. God bless you!

    • Brittany

      I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM. . .Oh my!!! Ahhh we daydream to create an alternate universe. And same I used to make up characters but now its mostly me me me. And guess what? It got more selfish when it became about me, me, me. Daydream about heavenly things. . .like helping someone or what heaven might be like. . .might help. Or focus on Scripture.

  • Someone

    I have a question…

    I really want a deep relationship with Jesus…but at the same time I want to feel sorry for myself and do dumb stuff because I’m so bored and shouldn’t be….

    Any advice? I am pretty lonely…the only time I see friends is 20 minutes at church…one every 3 weeks. I text a ton but that is so impersonal. I stopped asking for stuff because everything I want seems to crumble…I’m so bored. I feel like God should be using this lonely season to get me closer to Him but I’m mad at Him for allowing me to be so lonely. :/

    • Grace

      I can definitely understand your desire for a relationship with Jesus, and how hard and lonely life can get. What I’ve found that helps me draw closer to God, is not only the importance of reading the Bible every day, but also to really learn to pray for friends and family and make a prayer journal. In general, focusing on how I can love other people helps me to get out of dissatisfaction and loneliness. Looking for ways you can help around the house, or looking for people who need a friend and reaching out to them can really help you stretch yourself, trust more in God, and draw closer to Him. Once we risk taking our eyes of ourselves, God can do some amazing things, because we our placing our lives in His hands. I will pray that God blesses you with a friend, and that you draw closer to Him. Blessings to you, sibling in Christ!

    • Brittany

      That’s odd. . .I text a lot and don’t get to church much. . .but it pays to be grateful. 😀

    • Estella

      Try talking to Jesus! Just small talk about anything! Tell him if you’re lonely, what you’re thinking of having for lunch, how your day was, what you need help with, what you’re thankful for, etc, etc. Jesus is our gentle, sweet and loving friend, and He loves when we talk to Him :) I admit that I need to do this more myself, as I would like a stronger relationship with Jesus too. Also, frequent prayer will help to build your relationship with Him, and reading scripture. As for feeling lonely… Remember to pray to God and ask Him to send you some company! In the meantime, offer up your loneliness to God. You could offer it up for any intention you like, be it for your own needs, someone in your life who needs help, or issues in the world. For example say: “God I offer up the loneliness I feel for all those who suffer from depression.” Offering up our sufferings to God is a powerful form of prayer, and also very pleasing to Him. Don’t be mad at God for your sufferings – God gives them to us because He loves us. A priest once told me God is like a doctor who gives his patients all the treatment they need to get better (even if that treatment is extremely painful) because the doctor knows what will help his patients get better. God gives us suffering for the good of our souls, because it is an opportunity for us to grow spiritually, and also to become closer to Him. I hope that helps, I am thinking and praying for you xx


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