Since the inception of cameras, people have been trying to make themselves look their best for a moment that will be eternally frozen in time. For some of us, appearing slim in photos is part of what makes us feel our best. We bet you never expected a collegiate study to help improve your selfie game, but recent results out of the University of York include a data-backed tip. Next time you go want to post an Instagram story, consider this study’s advice.
The new study found participants tended to rate women’s bodies as slimmer in selfie photos as opposed to other angles. The study examined the perception of female participants in response to pictures from multiple angles of women in exercise clothing. Faces were omitted from the images, focusing only on the appearance of the bodies from different angles.
Results show that participants tended to judge bodies in the selfie images as slimmer than bodies in the external-perspective images. “Chin-down images were judged to be less slim than selfies and the least attractive of all the perspectives analyzed.”
Evidence suggests looking at selfies could be more damaging than other photos for those vulnerable to disordered eating. “Many of us see selfies every day as we browse the growing number of social media platforms,” the authors say. “This research suggests that the angle from which the photo is taken can change our judgments about body size. When consuming images on the internet, even simple unfiltered selfies, what we see is not necessarily an accurate representation of real life.”