photo-14Don’t you just love social media? Really, when you have a need for validation, all you have to do is post a selfie and wait for all the comments to come in. Or not. Silence on the internet can be brutal to a girl’s confidence. So can some of the comments. Why, then, do girls continue to post pics that make them so vulnerable to the opinions of others?

Guys do selfies, too, but certainly not as often and with a different approach. Boys want to be strong; Girls want to be desirable. Trying to appear strong on the internet is not nearly as dangerous as making yourself desirable–especially if you are a young girl who really doesn’t understand what that is all about.

Don’t get me wrong, I love selfies–they can easily be discarded and retaken over and over before being posted and the older I get the more important it is to get the right angle and expression . Please don’t judge me. I want validation just as much as the rest of you. I teach about image issues because I’ve battled with them. At 46 I still struggle with confidence when I look in the mirror or see a picture of myself. But really, would you want to hear advice from someone who has no idea how hard it can be?

The thing that cracks me up is how many girls don’t struggle with it. They post bed-heads and pictures that should have been re-taken, if you know what I mean.

I guess the risk is worth the reward. After all, a girl’s need for validation is not small, and their social lives are deeply entrenched in the internet so if they aren’t getting any face-time then I suppose Face book is the next best thing.
Unless, of course she is a Classic, who seldom has time for social-anything. You won’t easily find a Classic’s selfie anywhere–she’s too private to post one.

Ingénues and Romantics are hard to find too. Although you may find the Ingénues’ very creative pictures on their cell phone, they are a bit too cautious to make themselves vulnerable on the World Wide Web. You may find the Romantic surfing and “likeing” other people’s selfies because they love to validate everyone except themselves.

Naturals tend to have a blast with the selfies. These casual beauties really aren’t very self-conscious; they are simply fun and free. Vulnerability is what makes them so beautiful (And so relatable!) they make you feel included in their lives when you see their messy hair and no makeup and you never feel pressured to “like” them–you just want to because they are so real.

Dramatics, on the other hand, can put the pressure on. Some of them (especially those who are hurting emotionally) are intentional about seeking your validation, others are simply creative and theatrical. These girls love drama, they love fashion, and they love attention. Sometimes this comes across as (and sometimes it really is) narcissistic. You know, like the popular girls on the Disney channel that demand their validation. But very often these girls are totally niave to the way they are perceived; their hearts are dancing to a Cindi Lauper tune and they don’t understand why no one is singing along with them. Then when the comments are mean and judgmental of their heavy makeup and show-off style they shut down their spirits with tears saying, “I just wanna have fun!”

Dramatics aren’t alone, this can happen to the Gamine, too–especially the cheerleader-type Gamines. Some Gamines are more like Naturals, and less apt to be rejected because of their more casual approach, but even the ones who get caught up in the need for kind comments tend to let the not-so-kind comments roll off their backs. Actually, I think the Gamine girls may have the best approach. Vulnerability without desperation for validation is true beauty at its best.

Favor is deceitful; our confidence shouldn’t rely on it, but that’s a blog for another day.

Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their confidence conflicts; it is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Losing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available in book stores this spring. All of these books are available now at