A new selfie museum is opening soon in Dayton, Ohio. But before you roll your eyes like I did when I only saw the title, keep on reading. This place is not imagined as a playground for attention-seeking or narcissism. Instead, it’s devoted to mental health, helping you cope with stress, depression, and anxiety through taking photos.
The Gem City Selfie Museum is a project started by entrepreneur NaAsiaha Simon. After surviving brain cancer and lots of mental health struggles that came along, she wanted to help others who are also struggling with mental health and/or self-image. Speaking with Dayton Daily News, Simon said that her therapist encouraged her to take photos to express herself. “I realized when I took the pictures, I felt great about myself,” she added. And so, she came up with the idea of creating a space that will help people on their way to healing.
There will be 21 selfie stations at the museum. All of them will be in vibrant colors, equipped with props and furniture that should aid phototherapy and color therapy. Simon has partnered with the Ashley N. Scott Community Healing Foundation in Cincinnati to provide free therapy resources for anyone who visits the museum.
Since the museum is only opening in summer, there’s still no exact location. Simon told Dayton Daily News that it will be in 8,000 square feet of space in the Oregon District. She revealed the price as well: it will be $30 for a one-hour visit. Fun fact: $30/hour is the price of real psychotherapy I pay here in my hometown.
As we’ve mentioned before, selfies cause more harm than good. “Selfitis” was even proclaimed a mental disorder in 2017. But from the description of Simon’s selfie museum, it seems to me that it will rather be about self-portraits than selfies. “It’s not about the pictures being taken,” the entrepreneur told Dayton Daily News. “It’s about the reflection you see.”
“The goal is [for] people to come and have positive life experiences. When they leave, they feel motivated, inspired, and loved. They feel heard and feel seen by capturing these moments.”
Selfie museum isn’t exactly a new concept. I remember writing about the one in LA that opened in 2018. After Googling for others, I learned that there’s even one in Belgrade, the capital of my country, and I had no idea. But Gem City Selfie Museum is the first one focusing on mental health, which is what makes it different from others. As I mentioned, it also seems to me that Gem City Selfie Museum will put more focus on self-portraits, and those sure do have healing powers.
Personally, I rely on photography to help me overcome stress, depression, and anxiety without even leaving my home, and for free. If I pay for anything, it’s a licensed psychotherapist to help me overcome these issues. Nevertheless, I would still visit Gem City Museum (or even that “regular” selfie museum in Belgrade) just for fun and to see what it’s all about. After all, spending a fun day at a fun place will make me feel better even if I don’t take self-portraits, just selfies.
If you’d like to pay a visit to Gem City Selfie Museum, you’ll have to wait till summer. But you’ll find all the necessary updates on its website.
[via Dayton Daily News]