The secret to your next best selfie is science, not surgery

PHOTO: The New Paper file

The divide in the domain of taking selfies couldn't be any more pronounced. Is it an art? A science? Or a mental disorder?

Results may vary depending on who you ask, but no one should ever feel criminal for taking an innocent portrait of themselves. It cannot be denied, however, that the rise of the selfie has also given rise to cosmetic surgery, as reported by Wired last Saturday, March 31.

It was back in 2013 when cosmetic surgeon Dr. Boris Paskhover first discovered that more and more younger people - as young as 20 - have taken to getting nose jobs. The reason? The patients didn't like how their noses looked in selfies. It seems, however, that their noses weren't the real problem.

A report, headed by researcher Brittany Ward and published in the medical journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery last month, showed that when it comes to short-distance photographs such as selfies, the nose gets distorted and naturally appears 30 per cent larger when taken at a distance of 12 inches.

"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," the study said.

Photo: JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery journal

Meanwhile, the study also stated that when it comes to portraits taken at a normal distance of about five feet, one's features, including the nose, do not get distorted.

So, before contemplating on irreversible cosmetic surgery the next time you're unhappy with a selfie, perhaps it wouldn't hurt to ask someone else to take your photo. Chances are, it may all just be a photographic distortion, a mere trick of the camera and not necessarily a large nose borne of genetics.

LA museum celebrates the art of the selfie

  • There's an art to taking the perfect selfie - from the angle, to the focus, cropping out that pesky outstretched arm and above all, the smile.
  • In a celebration of self-portraits in the social media age, Tommy Honton and Tair Mamedov are set to open the Museum of Selfies in Los Angeles - an interactive exhibition exploring the history and cultural phenomenon of snapping a photo of yourself.
  • And for those who think if a moment wasn't photographed, it might as well have not happened - the good news is that at the Museum of Selfies, selfies are compulsory.
  • Neither missed the chance to snap several at the Museum of Selfies, including at an exhibit mimicking the rooftop of Los Angeles' tallest building.
  • The exhibition begins with mirrors, perhaps the most basic kind of selfie. But Honton and Mamedov view the concept as something more than just a simple photo.
  • "The selfies have a surprisingly rich history, and go back as far as people have been making art," Honton explains.
  • The show is full of fun facts about the trend: women take pictures of themselves more than men, for example.
  • In a corner, meanwhile, are three statues resembling Michelangelo's "David" - painted blue with a pink cell phone - and a Game of Thrones-esque throne created using selfie sticks.
  • Also featured is David Slater's controversial monkey selfie - which became embroiled in a legal battle over who has the copyright to photos taken by monkeys using his camera.
  • The Museum of Selfies will be open in Glendale initially for two months.
  • Its founders are open to extending its LA run and taking the exhibition to other places around the US, if not the world.