An Idiot’s Guide to Mirror Selfies

Welcome to the Thunderdome.

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You’re probably thinking to yourself, “I clicked into this post by accident and already feel insulted. I know how to take a mirror selfie, thanks.”

Sure. I thought I did, too.

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Do you see? Or did you fall asleep? That photo above is fine, but it is not getting anyone any likes. It is causing zero exes emotional distress. No one feels compelled to tap for credits. It merely says, “I turned off the flash.”


Now let’s compare it to a better version on the right. It is almost literally the same photo, but it is not literally the same photo. I smiled behind my phone. This is very important because, while remaining sly behind a screen, it suggests that I am friendly. Just a whisper of pal-ship. Congratulations, you have just mastered Level One of how to take a mirror selfie: show emotion — but don’t.

Level Two: Say You Do Want to Show Emotion

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If you are in a great mood and need to show the world your gold tooth in addition to your new shoes, turn to the side and let loose. (Point the toe closest to the mirror for elongated lines and use your phone to strategically hide any chin pimples.) You know how you should never run at a horse head-on or she will take it as a sign of aggression? Same with smiling mirror selfies. Slide to the side.

Level Three: The Casual Butt 

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Sometimes you need to take a photo of your butt. Sometimes you send it to friends etc., sometimes you don’t, this isn’t a post about who gets to receive what kind of photo. All I’m saying is that sometimes you need to take a photo of your butt, and when that time arrives, you should always act a bit taken off guard. As though you were going to take a sideways smile selfie and then someone called your name and you were like, “Whah?” then snapped the pic in transit. Achieve this while holding the shutter function down on your phone and spinning slowly. Pray no one sees you do this.

Level Four: The MySpace Angle 3.0

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To achieve a full-face selfie shot with just a taste of outfit and a bit of atmosphere (far more exciting and somehow less narcissistic than attempting this head-on), tilt your phone like it’s the head of a dog who was just asked, “Who’s a good boy?”

Level Five: The Power Stance

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This is an advanced move full of potential disasters, to be used only when the outfit is the focus but you still want to show your face without a weird angle (see Level Four). The dropped phone positioning pulls the viewer’s focus RIGHT to your crotch — make sure your fly is up! — which enforces a more holistic vantage point of your head-to-toe, rather than the standard scan-down from phone to foot.

Level Six: Adhere to the Rules of Three

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Split your phone screen into thirds and then get the fuck out of the middle. Cover a bit of your face to enhance mystery and crop just above your belly button so that you look tall. It’s artsier but not in a RAYA profile picture way. A subtle selfie.

Level Seven: The Squat

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If you are working with limited mirror real estate (like, perhaps, a hand mirror) and need to show your full outfit, employ the squat.

Other things to consider:

Make sure your mirror is clean.

Make sure there is nothing incriminating on the floor or area surrounding you.

Your life in general.

Or mine, really, for writing this.

Photos by Krista Anna Lewis and Amelia Diamond.

Get more Humor ?
  • AMELIA YOUR HAIR HAS SIX PACK ABS. You have the myspace angle photo DOWN. At first I thought it said “MySpace Angel” which is also tru and reminds me of a fourth grade spelling test that I was about to turn in but on my way saw a girl wearing a shirt that said “100% Angel” and promptly returned to my seat to switch an answer from angle to angel.

    • Amelia Diamond

      Thank god for her and those t-shirts!! I had one that said 99% angel >:)~

    • I had a baby blue long-sleeve shirt in 2002 that said 100% Angel! I felt like this had to be shared.

  • Amelia: Squat Master.

  • Karen L.

    Amelia, that cover photo is a 10/10 on the Ex Emotional Distress scale. I also like the nuance of these all being mirror selfies instead of selfie selfies. Important subcategory!

  • EJS

    The squat is actually amazing?

  • Mallory McFall

    my go to is bathroom foot on sink selfie. it has enough silliness in the pose to not be taken too earnestly but also allows for me to look bomb as hell

    • allie

      Can I get an example of this? Sounds intriguing but I’m having trouble picturing it in my head…

  • Haley Nahman

    You’re a fuckin freak amelia, printing this out to tape to my mirror

  • me

    ‘Level Three: The Casual Butt’


  • Erica

    soo… this definitely deserves a follow up basic selfie how-to (please)

  • Dayna

    Re: level 3 The Casual Butt – my brother and I have dubbed this style of selfie the “belfie”.

  • Saskia

    Just came here to say that your hair the bomb-dot-com

  • Kelly

    lolololll @ ‘Pray no one sees you do this.’

    My selfie game is weak. I limit it almost exclusively to ultra glam moments or comedic non-glam moments.

  • amy whiting

    This is unfortunately timed as I literally just posted a mirror selfie last night complaining about how i don’t know how to take effective mirror selfies. Please apprehend my every move better next time.

  • Amy Josiane Whiting

    Why didn’t I see this yesterday!??! Literally just posted a mirror selfie about how I can’t take mirror selfies last night:

    • Rosie

      but you did such a good job !!

  • Nat Ch

    HAHAHAH “your life in general”.

    My take on mirror selfies is “take your mirror selfies the same way you flirt: in an ambiguous I’m-sort-of-kidding-but-maybe-not,-it’s-up-to-you-to-interpret,-is-YOUR-responsability-now kind of way” :3

  • Eszter Sólyom

    Loved this article, actually quite useful but also SO funny! Thank you for this 🙂

  • New resolution: Master mirror selfie level 4.