Cathy ZielskeCZ Life31 Comments


Last week I got a much needed  hair cut. In spite of being moderately chubbier these days (okay, maybe moderately is a bit generous here), I still feel hella lot better with predictable hair. For me, a half an inch’ll do, thank you very much. I also poured about a gallon of blue black foaming Garnier Nutrisse into the mix and emerged with a thick, rich, black skull cap of hair.

Every time I get a hair cut, after I complete the Shower to Remove Little Tiny Hairs ands Hair Dye, I sit down and put on makeup, something I do with greater infrequency these days. A little foundation. A little blush. Make my eyebrows presentable and sometimes toss in some eye liner. Rarely do I add the mascara, because you know, glasses—what’s the point?

And hell, once the make up is on, it’s Selfie Time.

I’m not sure at what age the selfie-taking process becomes uncouth. I’d like to think it is an ageless kind of thing, but at some point, maybe you do have to say when.

Just for fun, go to Instagram and enter the #middleagedselfie hashtag. As of this writing, there are 85 posts. On Instagram. 86. Compare that to the 14,250,054 posts for #believe and you realize that middle-aged selfies aren’t really a thing. Hell, there are 274,642 posts for #fart. But just 85 for people between the ages of roughly 40 and 60 taking photos of themselves.

What’s up with that?

As I put together this unfiltered collection you see above, I didn’t exactly jump on posting mine to Instagram. I thought, “Yeah. Pass.”

And why? Is it because I’m more mature now and should possess a bit of decorum with what I choose to share?


I mean, we all know the sacred rules of Middle-Aged Selfies, right?

1. Hold phone 6 inches to 1 foot above head. Look up.

2. Hold phone 1 foot to 16 inches above head. Look up.

3. Hold phone directly above head. Look up.

4. Tile your head, slightly, or turn it ever so gently to one side.

5. Blast the shit out of that sucker with filters.

Sometimes, I’ll do a selfie and use the direct send feature of Instagram and I basically just send it to one of two people: My daughter or Tara Whitney. I know both will greatly appreciate my efforts. Often I’ll get a direct reply or simply the hand clap emoji. That’s enough for me.

Maybe it’s just the incongruity of it all. Is middle-aged selfie an oxymoron in theory? Should we be taking these photos of ourselves during these years where the elasticity of our skins takes a veritable nose dive?

I’m not saying I have the answer here. I just know to hold my phone in the right spot and let the chips fall where they may.

Cathy Zielske#middleagedselfie

31 Comments on “#middleagedselfie”

  1. #3

    Ok. You totally made my day. I’ve had the same freakin’ issue. At least now I know the proper phone placement to reduce the appearance of my (not so fine) lines and wrinkles.

    And you look amazing!

    Now I’m off to add some kick ass filters to the selfies I just took simply because I wore my hair down today.

  2. #4
    Debra Parker

    Yes! Yes to all of this. You captured the thought process of so many of us middle-agers. Thank you, as always, for being so transparent in a world where injecting, nipping, tucking and sucking are commonplace. For that I too would offer up several clapping emojis if they were an option when commenting. 🙂 You look gorgeous!

    1. #4.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Well thank you! Clapping emojis are much better than say, poop emojis in this instance! 😉

  3. #6

    I bought a selfie stick, which my husband thought was dumb, but I look really good from far away!

  4. #8

    We’re not tagging our less-than-frequent selfies with #middleagedselfies because we’re in denial about being middle-aged. 🙂 We think maybe if we don’t mention it, no one will notice our necks. *sob* And the wrinkles around the eyes that don’t go away anymore after a good night’s sleep. And the beginning of the vertical lines between the eyebrows . . . you know, the ones your Mom has?

  5. #9

    I am all about the selfie. I think they’re awesome and fun. Sometimes they are the only pics of me that I have.

    Perhaps the reason why there are so few middle age selfies on Instagram is because of the word “middle age”. Who’s ever ready for that word? I’m 41 and I’m not.

    So, hold that iPhone way up high, tilt your head and snap away. That’s what I’ll be doing.

    ps: you look great.

  6. #10

    One, I know for #5 you really wanted to say fucker instead of sucker. Two keep on sending them I love you.

  7. #11


    You look lovely and I think selfies are fine at any age. Its human to be curious about ourselves and our appearance. Why not have fun with that?

  8. #12

    I don’t think worrying about what we look like in photos every ends. I’ll be 70 in June and I’m still worrying. Now, though, I put my 5 month old Godson in front of me so all the attention goes to him.

  9. #13

    Good job, I think you look beautiful and natural. Filters definitely are my friends as well but I don’t overdo it then it just looks weird. If I didn’t take selfies I wouldn’t be documented since I’m the picture taker 🙂 BUT isn’t it the worst when you have the camera flipped, hit the camera button and the worst double chin, squinty old eye face is staring back at you?! I’m like, “dang do I look that bad when I make that face?”

  10. #14
    Audrey V

    Ok, I am severely handicapped. Seriously, how do you hold the camera at arm’s length, hold it still with one hand, and press the button? Is it just me? Am I all thumbs? I cannot seem to do this simple task. Help!

  11. #16

    When I did my first middle-age selfie I gasped out loud – ouch! But now, selfie away with my teens….

  12. #18
    Michelle t

    I have a couple selfies. One with my daughter, she’s 10. Another couple I did to scrapbook a layout. I can’t share on Instagram because I’m lucky I can send an email without blowing something up. But I wouldn’t anyway, I have big time appearance issues. But it was important to me, and I wanted to. That’s a big deal for me. But, enough about that…

    You’re beautiful.

    Michelle t

  13. #19
    Ami Pilon

    Cathy, I took a selfie last week and the one on my blog is a few months old. Next week I will be 71 and I like taking photos of everyone and everything and myself.

    1. #21.1
      Cathy Zielske

      You know, mostly I actually just use Instagram, and I adjust photos manually. I add brightness to most of them. 🙂 That tends to smooth things out!

  14. #22

    I don’t know if your family is like mine, but I wouldn’t be in ANY pictures if I didn’t take selfies with them. I finally realized a few years ago that there are NO pictures of me in any of my scrapbooks. So I started taking selfies with the kids and on vacation. Now I have pics of me in there! Hey, we as scrapbookers do what needs to be done!

  15. #23

    Oh, Cathy how you make me laugh! I took a few of myself a few days ago and I’m like “Really?” I agree with someone in the comments above about the lines around the eyes that don’t go away now and you about losing that elasticity. It’s a shocker in photos more than in the mirror for some reason.

    All that being said – you rocked your selfies! 😀

  16. #25

    I let my youngest son (age 11) takes “selfies” of us because his arms are apparently longer (or the camera is farther away from me when he takes the pic!) and the photo is 100x better. 🙂 The ones I take of myself usually end up as “for myself only.” :O

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