25 April 2019
Taking selfies that make you look slim, vibrant and sexy is easier said than done. Photo: Reuters
Taking selfies that make you look slim, vibrant and sexy is easier said than done. Photo: Reuters

How to avoid bad selfies

In the age of supposedly accepting all types of bodies, the sad truth is double chins rarely look cool. On social media, the wiser you get, the more that double chin comes out to haunt you. Selfies might be older than photography and flourished throughout portraiture (think Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez as example), but never have they been more important to self-worth than in 2018.

It all seems effortless for people in their 20s, who can drink a gallon of beer outside of 7-11 on a Friday night, smoke like a chimney, get two hours sleep, and wake up to take an irrelevant selfie post that looks amazing (crazy night! #tired #workhardplayhard). Sorry, after you turn 30 that ability dissipates into thin air, and you just come across as the sad drunk you actually are…

Whichever app you use, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, or Tinder, double chins are something that is an irrevocable fact of life. Either you go hole yourself up in a bunker and await Armageddon, or figure how to take better selfies that make you look slim, vibrant and sexy.

It’s easier said than done; the high angle for selfie taking is always decent but then you have to be aware of any potential hair loss that could be exposed. Straight shots can be a bit awkward (mug shot style), and shooting from down below is just a plain “no no” making you look like a mutant human/large toad. So what can one do having departed the golden years of being photogenic?

You could download an app like Meitu, allowing you to airbrush, retouch, resize, animate and pretty much tweak until you are satisfied that the double chin, or receding hairline, or whatever imperfection you (perceive) to have, is gone. It might look a bit bogus, but do you care? Politically correct answer: Everyone is unique and beautiful, why would you cover up? Reality: fake it ‘til you make it. Don’t act too shocked, anyone who has read gossip magazines over the years will know that retouch is essential. It’s in been in vogue ever since Lenin airbrushed Trotsky out of existence.

Subtly done, retouch is actually scarily realistic looking, and can lead to either guilt, or the realization that once you go down this road, you have to keep going (your friends may have noticed the ‘digital botox’ or at least suspect it). On Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat and countless other apps, augmented reality (AR) filters are fun and hide other elements in the photo deemed unsatisfactory. If you can’t cover them all, add a line of text like: “Covering up my ugly doublechin #goals #yolo”.

It’s a little bit of a sea change, considering my teenage years were spent pointing and shooting with disposable Kodak cameras and hoping a few came out decently – onwards and upwards I say. For some sage advice, I asked my millennial friend, aka “selfie king”, how to get things right in 2018 self-portraiture.

1) A higher angle makes your chin look sharper
2) Find the light! Good lighting creates a more even skin tone, and this can come from sunlight or a clip-on selfie light
3) Create a hand posture that distracts or covers up parts of your face you don’t like
4) No more peace signs, dabs, or ‘kawaii’ hand signs please
5) If all else fails, avoid the photo or adopt a don’t care attitude, which might do well for you and is definitely less time consuming
6) Hide in cave and await nuclear winter
7) Acquire classic Nokia and tell friends you are worried about government and corporate monitoring, plus, it has Snake!
8) Become wandering religious figure (although LKF fake monks have nice phones, so…)

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