Science Has Figured Out Why Your Selfies Look So Bad

I’ve never taken a selfie. Well, that’s not true—I’ve never posted a selfie. I’ve taken lots, of course, it’s just that they always look like ass. I always assumed it was just because my face was broken—a little too wide, a little too round, etc. It was never that big of a deal to me, because a) men who take a bunch of selfies should be jailed, and b) I figured that people who post lots of selfies probably spend the bulk of their free time (these people never have jobs) finding the right shots. I never searched for an explanation as to why selfies look bad, I just assumed that’s how the world worked.

As it turns out, as usual I was right: people do have a hard time taking selfies, and my face is just as handsome as my mom tells me it is. But much to my dismay, new research finds that it’s not out fault our selfies suck—it’s the fault of our dumb ass cellphone cameras. From JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery:

The selfie, or self-photograph, has rapidly become one of the major photographic modalities of our time; in 2014 alone, there were over 93 billion selfies taken on Android phones per day.1,2 Despite the ease with which selfies are taken, the short distance from the camera causes a distortion of the face owing to projection, most notably an increase in nasal dimensions.

As the Washington Post explains in a follow-up article, our phone cameras don’t work like mirrors. Instead, they can distort the image at short distances (like where selfies are usually taken from), with the facial features looking bigger than they actually are. According to CNN, the nose in particular can look up to 30% bigger than it actually is.

That’s not surprising, and maybe even a little bit of a relief. The solution is to have someone else take your picture like a normal fucking person, or (God forbid) use a selfie stick to create some space between you and the camera. But what’s really funny is that people don’t know this, and thousands of idiots are going under the knife for the noble cause of looking better in their profile pics. Not just a few people, either—literally most of the ones who get facial plastic surgery. This is part of a statement from The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (emphasis mine):

For better or worse, “selfie-awareness” is more than a fad. In 2017, 55 percent of facial plastic surgeons saw patients who want to look better in selfies in their practices (up 13 percent from 2016). First identified by AAFPRS members more than three years ago in the annual survey, the trend continues to gain steam and transform the facial plastic surgery industry.

“For a few years, AAFPRS members have been at the forefront of this trend,” says AAFPRS President William H. Truswell, M.D. “More and more of our patients are using social media as a forum to gain a sense of solidarity when under-going a major, potentially life-changing procedure. Consumers are only a swipe away from finding love and a new look, and this movement is only going to get stronger.”

55%. God, that’s incredible. A generation from now, the world will be nothing but people walking around with impractically small noses that look normal in photos. Then, people will start choosing breeding partners based on nose size, so they can maybe save some coin and avoid having to get their babies nose jobs. The noses will get smaller and smaller, until eventually it’ll just be normal for people to have all kinds of upper respiratory issues.

People are eventually going to turn into pugs, is what I’m saying. Can’t happen fast enough!

Image: Boris Paskhover/Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

9 Places In LA To Take An Instagram That Will Get Triple Digit Likes

I’m about to get really vulnerable with you rn  **raises right hand** I, basic betch, waste an unnecessary amount of my life crafting the perfect Instagram photo for the sole purpose of getting likes in return. There, I said it. But if you’re currently sitting there behind your computer screen judging the shit out of me, then you’re either living a lie, or you’re my best friend’s mom who posts 12 photos a day and thinks Valencia is just a city in Spain. Like, think about it—when was the last time you went on a hike without slapping on a full face of makeup before ripping the tags off a pair of $80 Lulus? The answer is silence, because the result of social acceptance is much more soul-quenching than shedding pounds… or anything for that matter. 

In the superficial land of Hollywood, we go to all sorts of extremes for the perfect photo op—we’re so desperate for likes that people actually created a museum dedicated to ice cream, filled with excessive amounts of sprinkles and obese children, like it was the world’s greatest discovery since Plan B. Yeah hi, it’s called fucking Baskin Robbins. But whatever, if you’re feeling super extra this weekend, you should def check out this list basic af landmarks in LA that are sure to up your Insta game.

1. The Last Bookstore

So you may not have physically picked up an actual book since you fake-read The Grapes of Wrath junior year (and no, Kindles don’t fucking count), but this downtown attraction is home to the world’s most prestigious self-described hipsters and vintage photo-ops. Helpful hint: take a pic standing under this tunnel made entirely of books, and it’s sure to send you into triple-digit “like” territory.

Last Bookstore LA

2. Venice Canals

If your “aspiring actor” career hasn’t exactly shown you a life of luxury and you CAN’T afford to travel to Italy on a private jet just yet, the west coast Venice canals are the place to be. Just think of the CA Venice canals as like Italy’s annoying stoned cousin—slightly a drab to be around, but totally tolerable because you’re guaranteed to leave high af.

Venice Canal LA

3. Micheltorena Stairs

For people who think they’re too good to pose in front of walls with graffitied angel wings or inspirational bullshit, this set of stairs is for you! Except that you wouldn’t be reading this if you actually were too good for it. This is the perfect place to emasculate drag your bf while you two sit on the steps above the heart, accompanied with a photo caption inspired by The Beatles’ lyrics. #AllYouNeedIsADrinkLove

Mitchelerona Stairs LA

4. Ladurée at The Grove

Tbh, I don’t get the macaron hype. They’re shitty flavors and they’re like $4 a cookie. For that price you can get an entire box of Thin Mints. But they’re like the Lambos of snacks. They’re a status symbol, so I get why you’d feel the need to Instagram them. Ladurée at The Grove is actually pretty adorbs with its bougie Parisian feel, and as a plus, you can also drink Champs while you snack on flaky cardboard and $20 Caesar salads. Do it for the ‘Gram?

Laduree LA

5. Polka Dot Wall At The Springs

You know the Pink Wall on Melrose your basic tourist friends make you photograph them looking pensively toward a layer of smog at? Yeah, it’s gone now all thanks to Pride Week, but don’t be sad. You may have to travel to the slums to get here but this polka dot wall is what Instagram likes are made of. Wannabe fashion bloggers live for this shit because, in their words, “it adds, like, the perfect pop of color to any outf—” yeah, no I can’t do this.

Polka Dot Wall LA

6. Alfred Coffee In Silverlake

Before you waste your money on a dumb T-shirt with this kind of mantra that you’ll only end up wearing to bed, don’t. Alfred Coffee in Silverlake is the perfect place to pose with your overpriced latte under this neon sign, while acting like you’re about to finish writing the next Oscar-winning screenplay. I’m sure there’s like, billions of other signs around this area that you could relate to on a heavily spiritual level, but I don’t have time for that shit.

Alfred Coffee Silverlake LA

7. The Chandelier Tree

If you love using mason jars and burlap in every DIY project you’ve ever done, you’ll love the Chandelier Tree in Silverlake. The century-old tree contains a shit ton of salvaged and refurbished chandeliers like the ones all over my wedding Pinterest board. Oh, and if you’re feeling super generous, you can donate to the tree’s electric bill to keep it lit each month, but really, it’s like, get off your stump and pay your own damn bills.

Chandelier Tree LA

8. Barney’s Staircase In Beverly Hills

I hate to break it to you, but you’ll never be as betchy as Rachel Green—mostly because there’s no possible way in hell to survive in Manhattan on a local coffee shop’s dime—but you can come close to fulfilling your wildest Rachel Green dreams by Instagramming this staircase found inside Barney’s in Beverly Hills. This is seriously what I’d imagine the stairway to hell heaven looking like. Just be sure to hide that obnoxious yellow Forever 21 bag when posing on them.

Barneys Staircase Beverly Hills LA

9. Bradbury Building

If you’re still using staircases for actual walking purposes and not for Instagramming, then you’re doing it all wrong because this place is literal Instagram gold. I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of historic significance behind it, but the only important thing to know is that this is the exact building in DTLA where Tom gave Summer a giant “fuck you” the moment he locked eyes with Autumn at the end of 500 Days of Summer.

Bradbury Staircase LA

Read: 7 Rooftop Bars In LA That Will Up Your Instagram Game