The buzz word of the last year is “selfie”. Taking a photo of yourself can be a fun, spontaneous act, especially when you have a cell phone in your hand. However, an occasional question I hear from patients is that they like how they look in person and in some photographs, but they don’t like how they look in the selfie. Should I get surgery?
The answer is a definitive NO! A selfie is typically taken with a cell phone camera and the lens on most cameras is wide angle lens. This means the camera is intended to take photos of landscapes and less capable of taking accurate facial photographs. The further you stand from a wide angle lens, the less distortion or fish eye effect you will have, hence a more flattering photograph. With a selfie, unless you have an NBA basketball player’s arm span, you are probably going to create fish eye effect and facial distortion.
This phenomenon of lens distortion’s impact on the face was described by myself and coauthors in an article in Facial Plastic Surgery. We found that the wider the camera lens (which corresponds to a smaller lens number) the more facial distortion was evident. So in summary, there is nothing wrong with a selfie if you are having fun. However, if you are using it as a driving force to receive plastic surgery- change your lens and you may change your perspective.