I used to take many photos of myself. Again, I’m going to claim (possibly falsely, correct me if I’m wrong) that I did this before it became widespread, before most people had digital cameras (camerae? I think jokingly wondering [in parentheses] if a faux-Latin pluralization is more correct will be a regular thing for me) or half-decent quality camera phones. I didn’t take all of these photos with fishy-lips at an angle from above to manipulate my appearance, although I did photoshop to remove red blotches on my skin and increase the contrast to make them look more dramatic. I will admit that much.
I’ve toned down the photographic narcissism simply because I don’t have as much free time as I used to, and what I do have I’d prefer to spend at my ugliest: lying on the couch in poor posture with an extra chin or two forming from looking at the computer rested on my crotch, with crumbs all over the dress shirt or nice sweater I wore to work, because I was too lazy to change into something appropriately frumpy when I got home. That’s hardly photogenic. And I’d know – I’ve seen the reflection that appears across from me when the TV is turned off.
But beyond the decline in photo documentation parallel to my decline in appearance, I still exhibit some narcissistic behaviour. I check out what I look like from the side while walking down the street by looking in most mildly reflective windows I pass. I’m happy being single because I believe I’ll make a better companion to myself than practically any man. I laugh at my own witticisms, ones that most people don’t even bother to read. And I believe that my opinions (and opine that my beliefs) are more firmly grounded in reality than the opinions of others, which seems to bother people the most.
But the better side of my narcissism is that I’m so wrapped up in my own life that I do little to interfere with the lives of others. I don’t particularly care for gossip, celebrities or otherwise, and I generally only say the phrase “Well, what Iwould do is…” when asked for my advice on something with which I’m more familiar than the person asking. Other than that, live and let live! Love and let love (including oneself)! If everybody were a narcissist and went by these rules, we’d all be too busy making fish faces into camera phones to inflict harm upon others, or wage unnecessary wars. It’s way better for the world overall than other personality disorders.