Why Do Our Selfies Look Weird?

If you think you appear strange in your selfies, you don’t need to blame your face. Blame your brain instead. According to Science, selfies sometimes look weird to their subjects for a number of interesting reasons.

In an article for The Atlantic, Nolan Feeney attempted to explain why photo subjects believe they look a little off in their selfies. Apparently, our selfies appear different from what we expect because of how we see ourselves in the mirror, how we recognize our own attractiveness, as well as technical details regarding how we take selfies using our camera phones.


Whenever we take a selfie, the camera captures our face as strangers would perceive us from head on rather than we would see ourselves in a reflection. Because of this, our faces, which are naturally unsymmetrical, tilt in a different manner in selfies. The end result can be a little confusing and surprising to look at.

Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Center, explained that we see ourselves in the mirror all the time and that we have become familiar with what we see on it. This allows to establish a preference for what we look like.

“Looking at yourself in the mirror becomes a firm impression. You have that familiarity. Familiarity breeds liking. You’ve established a preference for that look of your face,” Rutledge said.

Moreover, Professor Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago believes that the image we have of ourselves in our minds is actually different from what actually exists. Epley in his 2008 research suggests that the image in our minds is way prettier than reality.

Selfies Linked to Narcissism and Psychopathy

A 2015 study carried out by researchers at Ohio State University has found that men who posted more selfies online scored higher in measures of anti-social traits particularly narcissism and psychopathy.

On the other hand, editing photos was only linked to narcissism, and not psychopathy.