Meet a #365FeministSelfie - Courtney

Courtney Blake from Saint Paul, Minnesota

How long have you been participating in #365FeministSelfie?
I first did the #365feministselfie project in 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed it. I decided to not participate in 2015, but missed it so much, so I'm back for 2016 and happy to be doing this project.

Why did you join the project? 
I've always been fond of selfies and I've received a significant amount of criticism for it, especially from males who have been in my life. I have been called "vain" and "self-absorbed" all because I often appreciate the way I look and want to share that with the world. I don't quite know how I stumbled upon this hashtag on instagram, but I do remember my first #365feministselfie caption read "This is what a feminist looks like."

What has been the best/most interesting part of the project for you? Have you learned something about yourself? Met a new BFF? 
I've come to realize that a lot of what the #365feministselfie is is part of practicing radical self-acceptance. I am not here to please others. This project has also served as a platform to share my experiences with sexual assault and mental illness. The #365feministselfie community has rallied behind me and I do not know what I'd do without their support. Within this group of people I feel safe, unjudged, and I get to be unapologetically me. A selfie a day is really more than it seems.

How many pictures do you snap for each selfie you share? 
I typically snap a couple of photos for each selfie, but I have been trying to practice only taking one photo and posting that one since it shows a more accurate representation of me.

Have you ever received any negative comments for being in the project? 
I've not received much criticism for this project. Of course, there are people who still claim I'm just obsessed with my looks, but I'm learning to ignore them. This isn't about them. It's about me and celebrating who I am with other like-minded people.

How do you do feminism?  
How do I do feminism? That's a tough question. I believe in intersectional feminism and that feminism is not about equality, but equity. I practice feminism by being an advocate for victim-survivors of sexual violence. I am rally behind causes of reproductive freedom, LGBTQA safety and community progress, equal pay for equal work, Black Lives Matter... The list could go on. I think, most importantly, I do feminism by attempting to create pathways for other narratives to be heard other than my own. I don't know everything and I don't pretend to understand oppressions that are not my own.

You can find Courtney at cblakebakes on Instagram. 


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