The Five Scientific Secrets of the Perfect Selfie

Categories Lifestyle

Turns out picking the hottest profile pic for your Tinder profile is a science, not an art.

Tilt and elevate

Last month, German researchers showed 172 people 14 faces from different angles — above, below, and different degrees of tilt to the left and right — and determined that a 15-degree tilt to the right, flashing a fraction more of the left side of your face, is the most attractive angle. How to add an extra layer of sexiness, according to the Germans? Elevate the camera too — selfies taken from a slightly higher angle, and just off centre, make you appear helpful and attractive.

Left is best

In Melbourne earlier this year, a La Trobe University study confirmed that the Mona Lisa had it spot on — flashing the left side of your face is the most flattering angle for a photo, because the pose is seen as “more emotionally open and expressive,” said the researchers. “This left cheek bias has historic links. Previous research shows subjects of famous photographic and painted portraits, such as the da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, are more likely to face the artist showing their left side.”

Learn how to edit

In the States, a Stanford study last year pumped two million selfies — two million! — into a program that breaks down photos pixel by pixel, and figured out what the most liked snaps had in common. Turns out that you can turbo-charge the amount of likes you rake in with a basic pic editor — followers love selfies that were cropped to take up a third of the image, saturated with colour by a heavy filter, and surrounded by a white border.

Say cheese . . . in moderation

The University of Washington showed 800 people computer-generated 3D faces this year, and discovered — unsurprisingly — that symmetry is key to a perfect selfie smile, and that you want to hold back on flashing too much of your pearly whites (unless you’re going for that big toothy Gary Busey vibe).

Go easy

In a scientific discovery that’s about as ground-breaking as confirming that grass is green, Ohio State researchers found that men who post a lot of highly curated selfies — shock horror — display narcissistic tendencies. The study surveyed 800 blokes between 18 and 40 on their selfie habits as well as their personality, and learned that selfie addicts were linked to narcissistic and psychopathic traits . . . which is kind of a turn-off.