Selfie distortion. It’s real. Journal time!

Posted on August 3, 2022

I’ve written about this before, but it appears yet again in my journal. If you have teens, know they are thinking about this all the time. What part is the most distorted on a selfie?

The nose.

I don’t do rhinoplasties. But I have to write about this because selfies distort the nose area consistently. How you look in a selfie is NOT how you look IRL. (In real life, for all of us old people who need to google all the abbreviations.)

This study, in the latest issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal called “Size and Perception of Facial Features with Selfie Photographs, and their Implication in Rhinoplasty and Facial Plastic Surgery” looked at 30 volunteers.


My thoughts?

This is another article in a long line of articles talking about selfies’ (or zoom, or photoshopping) influence on how people “see” themselves. And it is objectively distorted from reality.

There are all sorts of things which affect selfies- angles, lighting, posing. There are filters. This article was in my journal to alert us as plastic surgeons as to how patients may have a distorted image of how they actually look. I have a VECTRA® 3D imaging camera in my office which thankfully helps reduce that distortion by taking a very accurate picture.

As a mom, it is a good reminder of what teenagers are being bombarded by daily, the distortion, the unwarranted constant assault on their self esteem. It’s good to be aware and to talk about this with your teen. I would also add if you have a younger teen, the face matures over time, and the proportions change. The jawline is the last to fill out. There is a reason those who do rhinoplasty surgery make patients wait to do surgery until late teens/early 20s. The adage you need to “grow into your face” is real.