our selfies aren't as cute as we think they are, says study

A new study finds that regular selfie-takers might be seriously overestimating their perceived hotness.

by Hannah Ongley
May 25 2016, 8:53pm


Enough has been said about how good/bad/dangerous/devastating selfies are to fill a novel. Or at least a few academic journals. Let's face it — long-term psychological effects don't really top the "cons" side of the list when considering whether or not to post our latest #nofilter portrait to our Snapchat stories. But this might: researchers from the University of Toronto have found that frequent selfie-takers are likely overestimating their beauty. In other words, our selfies aren't as cute as we think they are. 

To come to its findings, the team recruited college students of both the selfie-loving and selfie-loathing variety. 100 students said they were regular selfie-takers, while 98 said they rarely (if ever) took selfies. All the students were told to snap a selfie and rate its hotness — specifically, to judge their own portrait based on attractiveness and perceived likability. This is where it gets a bit ruthless: the photos were then submitted to 178 strangers who were asked to rate the subject's attractiveness and likability. As you might expect, the strangers were less impressed by the selfies than the students were. Further, researchers found a big gap in perceived narcissism between those who regularly took selfies and those who didn't. The selfie-happy students were found to overestimate their beauty far more frequently. 

Of course, beauty is highly subjective. And even then, it really comes down to why you're taking a selfie in the first place. If it's to make an ex jealous of your nonpareil #nomakeup beauty, maybe don't post it. If it's because you feel good/bad/horrendous/flawless after a long day of work and just want to see friends smash that like, go for gold — shouldn't we be more concerned about people who think they're unattractive than people who think they're hot? Fingers crossed your friends are little more sympathetic than these 178 randoms. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Instagram