A quick glance at my own social media accounts is enough to tell me that 80% of the time, my selfie gets a lot more likes than a photo of, say, an inspirational quote or my second cup of coffee for the day. The only photos that usually trump these of my face are the ones I’ve taken on my travels.

Which means, selfies while I travel almost automatically get even more likes and traction in my feeds.

It’s 2017, and people don’t seem to be as hung up about the idea that taking a selfie is akin to feeding into one’s egoistic, narcissistic vanity, but there are still those who wrinkle their nose at the amount of faces that flood their social media, and, fine. It can get a little irritating, especially when you see the same exact photo across four different social platforms (although, I get it. A perfect selfie come in a one in twenty-three photos and you need to milk it for what it’s worth).

It’s almost become second nature to take a selfie and immediately going to a photo editor application to apply numerous filtering tools, all to create a persona you deem worthy enough to be a representation of yourself on the Internet. That is, if your phone camera doesn’t already automatically apply those desirable features.

“Social media is such a lie,” your friend grumbles, as they point at how so-and-so whom you’ve been low-key stalking looks nothing like their photos. “Oh, I thought you had a zit that day,” someone comments on that selfie you’ve just uploaded, sans zit courtesy of said photo editor. “Oh my god, are you taking a selfie right now?” Your sibling laments, as you painstakingly try to find the perfect lighting while looking for your best angle simultaneously. For any avid selfie taker, we’re pretty much learned the art of toning most of it all out, but there are times when I do get caught off-guard, and the quick wash of embarrassment inevitably sweeps over me.

Which, in my opinion, shouldn’t be the case at all anymore.

For some reason, the concept of self-love ceases to exist the moment one applies it to taking care of their physical features (aside from exercising, that is). Girls who use makeup on a daily basis are “caked up” and “fake”; girls who don’t use makeup are scrutinized for every flaw they didn’t bother to hide. And girls blessed with flawless skin are met with hideous envy and doubt that it’s really their skin, instead of a layer of foundation in real life or an airbrush effect on their faces placed in their photos.

Girls who post gym selfies get blasted for caring more about how they look like than how many miles they can rack up on the treadmill. Girls who post their travel selfies get criticized for living in their phones and splurging on getaways instead of saving for a house.

And while I’m sure this happens to men too, the selfie-shaming seems a lot more prevalent in a woman’s experiences.

For those who possess the notion that an edited selfie is “false advertising”, let me just clarify that I am not for sale. I am not a visual tool to be marketed.

A selfie, more often that not, is a great self-esteem boost. And that’s all there is to it. It’s a way to capture a moment of yourself you’d like to remember. It’s a sweet occurrence of a time when you looked at yourself in a positive light for once, and I am all for it. Self-love is real, people, and if taking a cute selfie lifts your mood for even a few seconds, then go for it, my friend.

Love yourself, and let the haters learn to eventually love themselves too.