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The obession with selfies is focusing on the wrong things

The conversation about women’s physical appearances and bodies never seems to go away, as social media and the advent of selfies bring it up time and time again. Posting selfies is a phenomenon not slowing down anytime soon.

Journalist Fiona Keating expressed concern about the link between narcissism and selfishness, as seen in this International Business Times article. As society gives celebrity, physical appearance, fame, money and youth lots of attention, it is not too much of a stretch to assume that these type of selfies will feed into this concept as well.

More: How the media is promoting unhealthy body image expectations

Giving too much value to what is on the outside instead of the inside is worth discussing, and we need to keep the conversation going so we do not forget where the attention needs to be and we teach our youth how to value inner beauty. Let’s not judge others for what they post on social media sites but start to change the way we talk about inner beauty over outer beauty. Selfies, makeup, celebrities and social media are entertaining and fun things to read or look at — not to emulate.

More: Rebel Wilson strikes back at the Kardashians’ superficiality

It doesn’t matter what you look like, what size you are, how great your makeup is, how much plastic surgery you have or have not had, what type of body you are in, what color your hair is, whether you are tall or short, how much money you make or if you are famous. When thinking about the media’s recent uproar over Kim Kardashian posting nude selfies, it is important to remember what is actually significant.

Anyone, including you or me, can post a selfie of whatever they want whenever they want. That is their own choice, and we should not challenge this or say hurtful things to others because of it. However, the thinking on women and empowerment is a bigger discussion. If people are empowered by their body or sexuality, that, too, is their own choice, and no one should judge them.

Looking for inspiration and empowerment from women in areas other than looks might be worthwhile as well. Let’s change the conversation about physical looks and body style, because outside appearance just does not matter. Be proud of yourself in your own skin for who you are, not what you look like.

With the advent of the selfie, which focuses on looks, I pondered what might be posted instead of selfies. How about we focus on other characteristics, such as being a kind person, helping others, making a difference in someone’s life or changing the world for the better? So many women are worth talking about, not for their appearance but for their accomplishments, deeds and beliefs. It might make for wildly popular social-media feuds to admire and discuss physical appearance, but it’s really not that important.

There are plenty of more important things women contribute to society than physical appearance. This modern list has some amazing women, as does this historical list. And there are plenty of female role models in our own backyards, from teachers to moms, who are just as amazing. We are the ones who can change the conversation.

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