Why Your Nose Looks Bigger in Selfies (In Case You Were Wondering)

Yep, selfies usually aren’t the most flattering choices for your profile photos

Next time you or your selfie-obsessed friend complains of her big nose in those selfies, you finally have something to say that explains this phenomenon. It’s not you (or your friend); it’s the darn smartphone selfies. A quick but highly informative video by Vox explains a number of good-to-know things about this reality brought about by selfies. First, selfies, especially those taken using smartphones, do make our faces look weird. Second, there are figures backing up the reality that say a lot of people think their nose looks big in selfies, and it’s making them all want to get nose jobs. The third and most important of all is most people don’t really know that this facial distortion is caused by the distance between the subject and the camera.

Everything is nicely explained in the video below:

So, there you have it. Those smartphone close-ups aren’t the most accurate and flattering representations of your face. As most of us take selfies within 1 ft away, the results we get are actually distorted. The part of our face closest to the camera — the nose, to be precise — is then exaggerated. In fact, researchers have found that photos taken from 1 ft away show the base of the nose to be about 30% larger and the tip 7% bigger compared to those taken from 5 ft away.

So for now, those with longer arms and those not averse to selfie sticks have the best chance of avoiding the big nose selfie anomaly. Or, you can just ask someone to take the shot for you from a further distance. Vox also says that in the future, smartphone camera softwares may one day be able to alter the images to simulate photos taken from a distance away. Your selfie-conscious friend may be looking forward to that!

If you want to read up more about the science behind this phenomenon or share your insights, check out this interesting Reddit thread as well!

Screenshot image from the video by Vox