Thinking Of Getting A Nose Job? Blame ‘The Selfie Effect’, Says New Study
Ever seen someone look at a photo and ask, “does my nose look big in this?” Well, according to researchers at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School your smartphone might be the reason for your insecurities.
We know, we know, the relationship between smartphones and low self-esteem issues is no news, but its involvement in surgery is! In what world does a selfie end with surgery? This one apparently.
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Cue ‘The Selfie Effect’. No, it’s not some sort of viral infection or plot for a bad horror movie. People are actually developing skewed perceptions and warped self-image because of the distortive effect a camera has on its subject when a picture is taken within close proximity.
This became apparent to Boris Paskover, an assistant professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Otolarynology who specializes in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, when many of his patients came in to his office armed with a barrage of selfies as definitive proof they needed surgery to make their nose smaller.
In fact, according to the American Academy Of Facial Plastic And Reconstructive Surgeons, 55% of surgeons reported that people came to them seeking a whole host of different cosmetic procedures for the purpose of improving selfies.
Determined to better explain to his patients that their self-perceptions were being negatively impacted upon by the selfies they were snapping, rather than having genuine reasons to request surgery, Paskhover recruited the help of Ohad Fried, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science.
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Together they developed The Rutgers-Stanford model (published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery), a mathematical model to show how photographs taken at close range create nasal distortions.
The model shows that the average selfie, taken a ruler’s length (30cm) away from your face, makes your nose base seem 30% wider and you nose tip seem 7% wider than if the photo was taken 1.5 metres (the standard portrait distance) away. That’s a fair bit of distortion happening that you aren’t even aware of as you can see in the above photo.
Although this study suggests that selfies have a negative effect on your self-perception, there are some reasons why you shouldn’t stop snapping. According to a Spanish study, taking a photo of your body once a week helps you lose around 2.6% of your body weight in a few months. No diets, no workouts, just selfies.
And another study conducted by the University of California found that snapping selfies or pictures of things that make you smile could actually boost your mood. The participants who had to take selfies reported becoming far more confident in themselves.
Whatever the selfie study reports, remember if you’re sitting analysing every pixel of the picture and picking out faults you are going to find flaws that aren’t even there. Our advice? Smile, snap a selfie and share it with the world. Skip the scrutinization, you will feel a whole lot better. And if you’re looking to take a selfie that might break the internet, turn to this ultimate guide to taking the hottest selfie.