The selfie. Everyone has taken one at some point in their life. Some even take it to greater heights literally and take selfies on top of the building, the edge of a cliff, while some even do wacky pose to stand out. Weird poses and pictures aside, how did this global trend start? Aren’t you curious how does ‘selfie’ was conceptualized and became popular?
Prepare yourself for a fun article because we will discuss the factual and hilarious side of taking selfies that have taken over the world of social media.
Of course, everything has its own history, and the selfie is not spared! Let’s see the roots it came from and how did it end up with the name, “selfie”.
The First Selfie Ever
According to the Library of Congress, the first selfie picture was taken by Robert Cornelius in 1839. That’s 181 years ago! Due to technology at that time, he has to remain still for 3-15 minutes to capture this almost 200-year-old picture, that’s a lot of patience just for one selfie!
The Official Debut of the Word “Selfie”
Wonder how this word came to be?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the “selfie” was the first time used by a drunk Australian man on a web forum in 2002.
Apparently, here’s what he said:
“Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped over [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”
Even though “selfie” was formed 16 years ago, it was only popularized in 2013. Some used to spell it “selfy” but as time passed, “selfie” has become an acceptable spelling for many social media users.
The Good and the Bad
People’s creativity in taking photos leads to a variety of selfie versions. But like everything else, there is good and bad. Some people take selfies that do not look pleasant when viewed by the majority of netizens. Let’s differentiate and identify the selfies to avoid and the ones good to post
The Bad Selfies
Duck face has been here for a very long time, many people have at least tried imitating how a duck looks. Sure, it makes your cheekbones more prominent and gave you this pouty lips effect but no, it was never a good pose, to begin with. It is so annoying that you have a strong urge to unfollow or block the person who posted the duck face on social media. Seriously though, out of all the animals why a duck? Please, enough of this duck face, do us a favor and let this selfie trend begone.
Woke up like this
A lot of people on Instagram post pictures of themselves makeup-free. There are pretty people with a bare face and some who just want some validation that even without wearing makeup you are beautiful, using tons of hashtags including #wokeuplikethis. Okay we get it, this is how your face looks like early in the morning before doing your beauty routine, but honestly, no one cares. We are already used to seeing ourselves every morning with our bed heads, so spare our feed with more morning horrors.
Really? A selfie in front of a bathroom mirror? Of all the places to choose to take selfies from it has to be in the bathroom. Yeah, we know that taking a selfie there makes it easier for your followers to see your overall look with the help of the mirror but seriously, no. The bathroom is not a good venue for selfies as your camera might capture some disgusting stuff in the background. Why? Because you are inside the bathroom. That’s the point.
The Sleep Selfie
The sibling of #wokeuplikethis, just slightly different enough of annoyance. Come on let’s be real, can you really take a picture of yourself when you’re sleeping? I mean, for you to take a selfie you need to be conscious to navigate your phone and angle yourself towards the camera. Plus, most people don’t look serene with false eyelashes or traces of makeup when asleep. This selfie will just make you look desperate, this needs to be gone together with its sibling.
Changing Room Selfie
Can’t make up your mind what to wear? Take a selfie! Ha! As if your followers will be happy with you confined in a changing booth doing a pictorial in front of the mirror wearing outfits you like to buy but can’t decide what to choose. Well, it’s cool to get advice from your friends, but does it really have to be a public post where everyone can see and use tons of hashtags to gather more attention? Why not just send a text to someone you know who’s very good at fashion? If you are aspiring to be a fashion guru, the fitting room is not the right place to start your journey to be a fashion star.
The Good Selfies
A good selfie is just easy, keep it SIMPLE. You’re not required to do ridiculous faces or go to one of a kind places just to take a good picture. Just keep it natural, don’t get stiff, just plaster a good smile or facial expression and you’re good to go!
Proper Way to Take a Selfie
If you’re still having doubt on how to take a good selfie here are the steps on how to take one!
According to photographer Mindy Strike, lighting is the key: “Natural light is best. The ‘magic hour’ is the hour after sunrise and just before sunset, and will produce the most flattering sunlight.” If natural light is missing, stand by a source of artificial light and make sure the flash is off.
- Out of arm’s way
“Having your arm reached out in shot is only going to be so flattering,” says Strike. She advises experimenting with a mini tripod for your smartphone or downloading a free self-timer app.
- Rule of thirds
“Try to think of how to compose in thirds, like eyes a third of the way up, head a third of the way into the picture – ideally from the top or side,” says Bedford-based photographer Stuart Kearey. He advises ensuring a space between you and the background, to achieve a depth of the image.
- Your ‘good’ side
“Positioning the camera slightly above your eye line tends to be the most flattering,” says Strike. She also advises angling your face or body to one side.
- Be bold
Trying out a new look or different hairdo can help you feel more confident. “Changing your look can help make you feel just a little different or fancier in a photo, and this confidence will shine through your final images,” says Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess. It is also good to add accessories such as a hat or jewelry to improve your looks.
Taking selfies is a symbol of showing our confidence with our looks or the beautiful places we’ve been for many people to see. Always keep in mind that we don’t have to go to great lengths just to take a good photo. Remember, keep it simple. It is still more pleasant in the eye to see a photo that is taken naturally.