While selfies have more or less replaced the need to hand a camera over to a stranger to get a pic with all your friends, it’s been proven that selfies don’t necessarily showcase your true self. Thanks to a video from Vox, we learned that self-taken portraits — aka selfies — distort your nose a little.
Selfies are typically shot just a foot away from their subject — aka, us. At this angle, the base of your nose can appear larger than it actually is. In fact, you’ll see a huge difference when a picture is taken from just five feet away.
Basically, holding a camera close to our face creates visual distortion. And Vox notes that selfies actually have a big impact on how we choose to present our facial features to the world. Choices in makeup or even facial hair may have a lot to do with the (technically) false way we view ourselves. According to research, 55% of people who consulted a plastic surgeon in 2017 said it was because they didn’t like the way they looked in selfies. Which is kind of a big deal when we consider the fact that selfies aren’t actually an accurate representation of our faces.
It’s also important to remember that photos catch us from a single and specific angle. In real life we’re seen (and live!) in three dimensions, meaning we never actually look exactly the way we do in a still image.
This study is a helpful reminder to never be too critical of pictures of ourselves. Not only are they not a fully accurate representation of what we look like, but all that really matters is how fab you feel anyway.