Picture this: you’re standing in a queue and the person next to you is carrying a sleeping baby – in a wrap, no less! You strike up a rapport, albeit stilted and self-conscious, waxing lyrical about favourite wrap brands and admiring her textile choice.
Mid conversation – mid sentence, even – she slips her phone out of her pocket and …click! Relaxed and spontaneous, her fleeting selfie was fluid, unmeditated and unselfconscious, weaving itself seamlessly into your otherwise awkward conversation.
I had never seen anything like it. In my previous incarnation as an A level teacher – steeped in a world of Snapchat and Insta, the selfie integral to self expression and social identity – even then, I had never witnessed such a casual selfie.
That moment exposed for me a startling, hidden truth: for years my mind had busily filed away selfie judgements and prejudices – ‘Egocentric tools for introverts’ it told me; ‘a sad fad for an individualistic society’ it moaned, ‘and as for Selfie Sticks, tut! Selfish Sticks, of course!’
In that moment my shamefully critical mind was silenced. My queue companion’s selfie was neither egocentric, nor individualistic, nor selfish. What was I thinking! You see, when you’re carrying your child and you take a selfie, it is by default a picture of the two of you, and more likely than not, a celebratory one. Whether you’re taking a snap of your moment together, posting about the design of your fabric, or sharing the comfort and intricacy of your chosen wrapping technique, it is by necessity a group shot that draws attention away from the day to day challenges of a messy home, hectic sibling squabbles or the tediousness of a queue, enabling you to highlight the positive, as much to yourself as to others.
Normally I would rage at the edited, illusionary reality so often portrayed on social media, but perhaps there’s something to be said for celebratory selfies, little reminders of the things we love, the achievements we’re proud of, and the moments we want to remember. What’s more, the celebratory nature of a carrying selfie has fostered a warm cyber community of wrap users and lovers whose objective is to share the joy of their wrap experience and build each other up in the process.
So if your day has lost its charm, peacefulness, or sense of optimism, grab a wrap and find a selfie moment. Or reach out and connect with other wrappers, they might just have what it takes to turn your day around.
Red is a mother, a teacher, and an artist. Living in London, she’s writing for The Wrap Show about her explorations in woven wraps.