Selfies taken 12 inches from the face may make the nose appear wider than photographs taken at a standard portrait distance, a new study in JAMA Facial Plastic suggests.
Boris Paskhover, an assistant professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Otolaryngology who specializes in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery worked with Ohad Fried, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science, to develop a mathematical model that shows nasal distortion created by photos taken at close range.
The Rutgers-Stanford model showed that an average selfie, taken about 12 inches from the face, makes the nasal base appear approximately 30 percent wider and the nasal tip 7 percent wider than if the photograph had been taken at 5 feet, a standard portrait distance that provides a more proportional representation of facial features.
The mathematical model is based on the average head and facial feature measurements obtained from a selection of racially and ethnically diverse participants. The model determined the magnitude of the distortive effect by presenting the face as a collection of parallel planes perpendicular to the main camera axis. It calculated the changes to the ratio between the nose’s breadth and the width between the two cheekbones at various camera distances.
“Young adults are constantly taking selfies to post to social media and think those images are representative of how they really look, which can have an impact on their emotional state,” says Paskhover in a Rutgers news release. “I want them to realize that when they take a selfie, they are in essence looking into a portable funhouse mirror.”