self portraits

i know i'm not alone when i say this, but self portraits are probably the hardest challenge as a photographer. sure it's easy to take a photo of yourself, but the hard part is being comfortable and 'being yourself' in front of the camera, instead of behind. this is the part where i wish i was good at writing. it's hard to explain exactly why self portraits are so difficult, but i never feel like i look like 'me' when i take them. maybe because i'm never as serious in person as i am in my SP's. i also feel very vain, so sometimes i try to be funny, but then it just looks like i'm trying to hard. like this:

so then i try to be seductive, which makes me laugh even more:


and then i try to just smile, but trying to genuinely smile at a camera with no one behind it is not as easy as it sounds. so then i get this:

can we say forced?

i also tried the dramatic look, but that didn't work either:

this one really made me laugh, this is SO not me.

then i tried NOT looking at the camera...

that seemed to work better, but i feel like i'm cheating.

or maybe a close-up would be better? hmm...nope, just look like a 12 year old.

then i gave up. and just looked at the camera.

which seemed to be the most natural...still not there, but i think i just need more practice. what do you think? have any advice? or even critiques? maybe that's what i need, a good critique! please?