Taking a selfie is an act of bravery. You expose yourself to other people’s opinions of you, and to take one requires self-confidence, which I think is a beautiful thing. This is a series of photos that celebrate self-love, and it starts with a story.
When I was 15, some kids from my school decided it would be fun to change the lyrics of “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne to “Fernanda’s mom has got it goin’ on.” My mom IS super hot, and they just couldn’t handle it. I can laugh about it now, but back then I struggled with an unhealthy image of myself, thinking I was fat and ugly and so not like her. I told my mom about the song incident, and how it made me feel, to which she replied, “If you thought you were ugly, you wouldn’t be taking pictures of yourself all the time!”
But photography was my thing. I argued that I took photos of myself to have more pictures, and to practice what I really loved doing. Sometimes there weren’t enough people around to take photos of. “You can take pictures of everything around you,” she said, “but you choose yourself because you like what you see.”
She was right. Since then I’ve looked at self-portraits as something really special—a proclamation of one’s own freedom and empowerment. I like having a record of my life so far, and I don’t see anything wrong with reminding myself that my looks constantly change, and that I’m growing up and getting to experience every moment. Anything that can make you feel better about yourself while not harming others is worth a try. With a selfie, you always end up owning something new that matters to you, and that you can share with anyone you’d like.
I took these selfies over a weekend, and each shows how I felt for a brief moment. This was the first. I was with Zaid. We’d just gotten new tattoos, and we were talking and having a good time. I decided to take a picture, and that was that.
That night at our house, Zaid and Adrián were cooking (in the kitchen, of course), and I was next to them taking photos with a tripod, which was awkward. Eventually I closed the kitchen door and went to the next room, and that was better. There’s something kinda uncomfortable for me about taking selfies when someone else is watching.
The next morning after I woke up, I wanted to take a simple-looking picture of my new tattoos, but because they are in such different places, I had to strike this dramatic pose. So here they are—my new tattoos.
I was working later that day, and the light was really pretty. I felt like I was in a movie or something. It was nice.
This one was an accident. I was actually trying to find the right position, but then the camera did her thing and it was OK. Sometimes (all the time) I don’t like my hair, but I like how it looks here.
OK, this one is really weird. When I look at it, it doesn’t look like me. After I took it, I went to the mirror for a very long time. I’m not sure how I feel about this picture. It’s like I’m someone else.
Sunset is my favorite part of the day. I went to the roof, and there it was. Sunsets always make me feel good. We are moving, you know; we are moving all the time.
I stayed on the roof for a while. The moon was there already, looking good and bright. I felt the same way.
The city lights were pretty, and I started to think about stuff. I read too much news that day, and I’d had a fight with someone. When I went downstairs, I suddenly felt sad.
The next day was better. I’m glad I have a job, but working from 4 AM to 6 PM is NOT FUN. I was tired, and I look tired—I am tired—but I’m fine. I feel good.