An Idiot’s Guide to Mirror Selfies

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02.02.17
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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.”

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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.

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