Selfie - A Political Statement

Posted by Angela Gallo on

Why is it that we have such a visceral reaction to the word “selfie”? Why is it such a crime to so many of you that someone would want to take a photo of themselves? That someone would want to celebrate themselves in this way somehow makes them vain, self-obsessed, obsessed with their appearance, or they’re just craving attention.

How often do you actually stand in front of the mirror, or take a photo of yourself and really look at yourself with love? True love for who you are in that moment. Instead of looking at selfies and vanity in a way that is positive, supportive and uplifting, we’ve become so aggressive, judgemental and hypercritical of what everyone else is doing. How everyone else appears on the surface. Yet if we truly loved ourselves, we would be a threat beyond all threats, because nothing and nobody could touch us.

So instead of judging someone for taking selfies or appearing “vain” in your eyes, focus on yourself. Heal your own wounds and let others be who they are.

— FULL TRANSCRIPT —

Angela Phoenix Arsenal: I just saw the finished product of Billionaire Babes Club. The actual entire painting is completed and it looks remarkable. I can't even begin to tell you how it's making me feel. It's just stunning. It's stunning. Steene has done an incredible job. The back has a huge Guadalupe, and she's tattooed and she's crying. There's a giant Sacred Heart. There's a panther wrestling a snake. The inside has a beautiful big scroll over the door that says, "If you're looking at this, it's not too late." Which I absolutely love. The pink that I chose for the walls is called Playhouse and what a name that is. Totally appropriate for this space. It's a multi-sensory personal development space. It's where people come to come undone and come back to life, and everything about it is going to make people feel like they have hope.

What I am coming on to talk to you about today, my darlings, is vanity. It is our disdain of self-love, and how that is destroying our confidence, and our capability, and our abilities, and how it is making us incredibly insecure, volatile, angry, and hostile and what that is costing us. I want to talk to you about your relationships with selfies. Why you hate them so much, what triggers you about a selfie, your relationship with the word vanity.

I really hack into this in my visibility for visionaries, the workshops, particularly where the whole course is built on vanity and voyeurism. Two extremely organic traits and that is that we love things that look beautiful, we're very aesthetically inclined, and we are voyeuristic in nature, which means that we people watch, we're constantly looking. Because we have no safe places to explore either voyeurism or vanity, we have in turn become so fucking aggressive and judgmental and volatile, and really quite hypercritical of everyone else. Then on the inside being super creepy, super stalker-y individuals, and that is not cool.

Now, I want you to look at the word vanity, and by all accords, it means someone who is self-admiring themselves, who is really obsessed with how they look. You are made to believe this, to make you hate yourself. We literally created something called the superiority complex and a god complex in order for you to avoid loving yourself. If you were to truly love yourself, you would be a threat beyond all threats. The person who loves themselves, admires themselves, is in reverence of themselves is a total fucking threat. Because once you are in that place of total love, you are not insecure, you are not easily swayed. There's a direct ownership over who it is you are, and therefore you're one step closer to self-actualising.

Everything in this world wants you to be insecure, exhausted, overworked, and really quite desperate because that is where you're most likely to be the consumer who just buys and buys and buys in hopes of feeling better or feeling prettier, or feeling more accomplished or feeling more complete. Now, what I want to talk to you about though, is that vanity is not what you think it is. The vanity you should be paying attention to is your logical brain. What I believe is that our obsession with being right is the most vain thing that we can possibly do.

All these conversations that we have about the ego and arrogance, the greatest indulgence of ego is when we are obsessed with proving ourselves right. When we are absolutely addicted to indulging our logical brain. The most arrogant thing that you can do is believe that you know everything. That your logical brain is somehow privy to everything it needs to know. That somehow nobody can argue with you, because your logical brain is the most sensical part of you. That is vanity in full motion.

While you get consumed about how other people are looking in the mirror, I would be concerned about how many times a day you're looking within yourself and telling yourself "No, no, no, no, no, you know more than this. No, no, no don't listen to those people. You know more than them. You know better. You know best." That is vanity. Vanity is self-obsession, self-admiration, and complete obsession with being right. These are the kinds of people that there's no conversation. There's never any conversation. They genuinely believe that their science, their methodology, their technique, their approach, their way of being, their philosophy is the only way. There is never room for conversation. That is vanity.

Now, it's easy to make all of you look at people like the Kardashians and hate them, and call them vain, and call them all these things, but the reality is, we're orchestrating a media frenzy so that you hate women who are autonomously making decisions about their body, making their own money, having the sex they want to have, and doing whatever it is they want to do because they don't want you to be like that.

If we had a bunch of 25-year-old billionaire women running around, that would be a threat. If we had a slew of women and people who are truly just anchored within themselves, in their ability, that would cause the world to go phew, bajonkers. We make you think you don't want to be the Kardashians. Yet, there are episodes rank in millions of viewers from people like you who are voyeuristic and vain. Who are voyeuristic, and so we're all criticizing and hyper criticizing the Kardashians, and yet we're all watching.

This is the same thing as to why the rules about social media and the toxic ways we're using it is that 90% of you are strictly consuming content, 9% of you are sometimes commenting and sometimes sharing, and 1% of you are creating content. This makes me laugh. If you truly look at all the things in your life that you are judging, that you are criticizing, that you are really looking at from the outside on your high horse to just speculate and run things through, you can really check within yourself and realize that you are the worst of the worst in that particular arena.

What do I mean? It's exactly what I mean. If you are literally watching a TV show about these women, then walking away from it and talking badly about them because they're vain, when you are literally watching that show solely to stroke your big dick ego inside your body, so that you have more material to talk bad about, to make yourself feel more self-righteous, that is toxic.

Why do we call women who take selfies thirst traps? Why are there more words in the urban dictionary that talk about women who love themselves than anything else? Where does this come from? Where do these labels come from? Why is it so offensive when someone loves themselves? It's so incredibly important that you begin doing the work to remodel how you feel about yourself. Believe me, when I say, every fear you have, every insecurity you have right now that is inherently blocking you from doing anything it is you want to do, being who it is you want to be, is directly related to your self worth, and your actually poor self worth, your zero value on who it is you are, and your inability to stop and look in the mirror and look at yourself and honour yourself.

When we look at a selfie, a selfie is medicine. Taking a selfie is medicine, admiring yourself is medicine. Nobody will ever love you the way that you will love yourself, ever. If you look at the general public to love you like this, if you look to your lovers to love you like this, it is never going to happen. Therefore, you continuously look outside of the world to feel you, to validate you, to reassure you. You buy the products, you do this, you do that.

This is why it frustrates me when I speak to a lot of feminists who are so anti-capitalist, and make this all about money, and make this all about: don't shave, don't do this, don't wear the makeup as boycotting. Truly if I sit within myself and I look at these people and I see how unhappy they are. I see that those actions that they're taking that are apparently boycotting are actually rooted in complete disdain of themselves, that is not activism. That's active self-harm, that's active self-deprecation and calling it political activism. The most activist thing that you can do is love yourself. I say this, that the biggest political statement you will ever make, is loving yourself unequivocally, without need for approval or validation or authentication or permission from anybody else.

If you can give that to yourself, you will be able to not just survive, but thrive in a culture, in a climate, and in an economical world that quite literally profits on the ways that you hate yourself. This is not about the fucking selfie. It is about how much time do you spend looking in the mirror to honour yourself? How often do you make eye contact with yourself?

Every day I'm training and coaching people who have a deep fear of being seen, and a deep fear of seeing themselves, a deep fear of success, and a deep fear of being happy. With zero definition that they have ever taken a moment to create for either of those things and a deep fear of loving themselves. If you cannot see yourself, how will the world ever see you? If you want to create a business, why are people going to buy from you if you don't back and believe in yourself? Your skin, your energy will taste desperate.

If I get into a cab with someone, if I hire a plumber, if I go into a clothing store and that person so clearly does not like themselves and is completely insecure, I will not do business with them. This is a fact. Like Erica talks about, the Queen of Confidence, all the time, this is something that is literally practice and a byproduct of you loving yourself, no matter what. You cannot tell me that you not taking care of yourself is what you need to do because that's how you boycott and that's how you tell the world to go fuck themselves.

What are you teaching your children, when you don't actively look at yourself in the mirror and photograph yourself, love yourself, write poems to yourself? This is why I created the Oracle deck. This is literally why I created it, to give people at least 100 ways, all the time, to honour and celebrate themselves. If you hate yourself, how will your kids ever see or love or honour themselves? The people you're around, your energy is toxic, it is toxic. This is what keeps us from moving forward and shining and being who it is that we are supposed to be, our disdain of ourself.

We have scientific proof that if you speak negatively to anything, the molecular composition in that thing changes. Like Masaru Emoto, I believe his name is or something like that, where he did it with the water and the ice. We look at things like plants, apples, if you speak badly to anything, it either stunts its growth, it rots, it changes its composition. What makes you believe in your egotistical brain, that the ways they use speak badly to yourself every single day is not putrefying and petrifying and poisoning and changing the molecular composition of your integrity, of your existence, of your soul?

You are not that special to believe that you are somehow a rule to this exception. If you do not love yourself, you are killing yourself, full stop. If you do not love yourself, and make an effort every single day to honour who it is you are, and nourish yourself with these thoughts, and tell yourself these things, and breaking up with this idea of what is vain, and what is superiority complex and what is, "I think I'm too good," and what is wanting attention, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, if you don't do that, believe me, you're up totally complicit in the culture and climate that wants to keep people like me and you sick and insecure.

You know what? If you're like this, I won't let you hang around my kids. I've told people straight-off-the-bat, I will not allow any conversation around my children that is any of this energy, none of it. My daughter is versed in something where if the bangs fall across her face, she says, "Mommy, I really like when my bangs come on my face. It makes me feel sexy. It makes me feel beautiful. It makes me feel confident." That's the language we use in our house. She knows when I'm taking a picture of myself, and she'll take a picture of herself. The same thing with my son, the compliments, we're constantly complimenting each other. There is no language allowed in this home that allows for anything that is self-deprecation.

Let me tell you, selfies are medicine, selfies are medicine. Selfies are the antidote to self-deprecation. Selfies are a self-celebration, selfies are a brief moment in time that allows you to personally celebrate who it is you are. Just like in birth photography, it is so important because that moment, that catalyst moment that is gone in a moment, in a second, that is gone. Once that is captured, you can constantly visually reference that, like, "Fuck, that was me then. Fuck, that was how I felt. That's how I survived. That's how I did it."

See what happens when you start photographing yourself in your journey. See what happens. See what happens when you start just taking pictures of different lines of your body that you've never taken a second to honour before. See what happens when you start dressing like you're getting ready to impress yourself every single day. What would happen if you woke up every single day to impress yourself, to blow your own mind? How would you show up to a job interview? How would you show up to a first date? What makes you believe that you can rock up to life and existing in your body like you don't care, you don't give a fuck and then call that something self-righteous. That's not. There's nothing feminist or activist about that whatsoever.

We are all vain. When you go to Willie's, when you go to Safeway, when you go to the grocery store, tell me, how do you pick your fruits and vegetables? You pick them up, you inspect them, you smell them? Are they soft? Do they feel right? Are they bruised? Watch how we are all designed in the exact same way to eat what looks good, to fuck what looks good, to be with what looks good. Our houses, our clothes, you are not an exception to the foundational structure of what we are as animals. You can choose to either fight it and make your life harder, or understand that you are not that cool to believe that your logic and your reason is so correct, that you know more than everybody else, and you are the king in what is right and what is not, and what is holy and what is profane, and what makes you fool of shit and obsessed with yourself, and what makes you a person of integrity. You're lying to yourself. That's a lie. We all are the same, and you get to either be who it is you're supposed to be and love every bruise and warts and everything on that body.

If you're like me, because I feel bad for inanimate objects, and I'm the one I was like, "I'm just going to take this dying flower home so it can die and I can appreciate it while it dies." What are you doing to yourself? How do you look at yourself? If you were an apple you saw in the supermarket, what would you do? If you were a plant in your house, what would you do?

Lastly, if you were your own child, how would you speak to yourself? If you saw your child celebrating themselves with a selfie or whatever it might be, what are you going to say? "Stop it. You're ridiculous. You're arrogant. What are you doing? That's ridiculous." Would you? Because then you better check yourself. Let me tell you, that if child protection services heard the conversations happening that you had with yourself in your mind, they would 100% take the child away from you. If anybody saw the inside of our brains and saw how badly we treated ourselves, we would be taken away from ourselves. That's the tragedy.

You have one body, you have one life, make it count. You can complain, you can bitch about what other people are doing about their bodies. You can complain about what that person looks like and what makeup they're wearing. Or you can realize, "How am I actually perpetuating a culture that's making people divisively hate each other and hate themselves, or what am I doing right now to love the fuck out of myself and in turn, compliment everybody else and lift everybody else up?"

You get to choose how you feel. Nobody forces you to hate yourself. Nobody forces you to leave the house like you don't give a fuck about yourself. Nobody forces you to judge people who are taking selfies. Nobody forced you to judge women who are dancing on Instagram. Nobody forces you to do any of those things. None of those things, you choose to do that. Just like those plants, and just like that water, and just like that ice, and just like everything else in this planet, if you spoke to your pet the way you spoke to yourself, that pet would die. If you spoke to anything the way you spoke to yourself, it would shrivel up and atrophy until it was nothing but a dirty grey foggy memory of what once was. That's not how I want age.

Take the selfie, put the mirror in front. I tell people when they're birthing, "Take the mirror, look at yourself, watch what you are doing." Have you ever tried romanticizing yourself, writing a love letter to yourself, writing poetry for yourself, running your fingers across skin that you've never felt before?

My last breathwork session, I took myself solo into the night, and I let my hands drag across every inch of skin that I have never touched before. I let the goosebumps rise, and I traced them each like little mountains, and I said a love prayer to every little goosebump that trickled across my skin. I make sure that I love myself because or else I'll be forever looking for that love in bad relationships, in bad friendships, with bad lovers, in bad careers and I will not let that happen.

My question and challenge for you tonight, my loves is, how are you interpreting what vanity is? Understand that the most vain thing that you can do is indulge your ego, and believe that your logical brain and your reason is somehow the smartest thing on the planet of seven billion people and that you know better than everybody, and every body and every soul and every mind, and that is arrogance. That is arrogance. That's what I can't deal with.

I just want to make sure that you are loving yourselves harder than anybody else will love you. That you're teaching yourself to love yourself. Be intimate with yourself. "Me, myself, and I" is the most beautiful ménage à trois you will ever have. It's the best threesome you will ever have, and until you really realize that it is imperative that the foundation of what it is you do in this world, and who it is you are, starts on that self-love, you will be chasing your fucking tail forever.

The last thing that I'm going to say is, when I have conversations with people and they somehow believe, they come to the conversation ready to-- They don't want to debate, they don't want to have a conversation, they want to be proven right. It makes me laugh. It makes me laugh when man, woman, or anyone in between, literally believes that somehow their brain, their logic, and their reason is smarter than anything else on this planet.

Go to the mirror right now and love the crap out of yourself, or else I don't want you around my daughter, I don't want you around my son, and I don't want you on me. Trust me when you start to figure out that you are the shit, and you dedicate yourself to inner growth, and you really dedicate yourself to moving forward and excavation and doing the hard work to continually evolve, to continually become a better version than you, and understand that life is learning. Learning is a lifelong endeavour. You should be always constantly proving yourself wrong, constantly open to more conversation, you are like the worst problem on the planet right now, seriously.

Sending you all the most gigantic kisses. Thank you very much for listening again. So grateful for everyone here.


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