Think Your Nose Is Too Big? Selfies Might Be to Blame

Selfies taken at 1 and 5 feet
Selfies taken at 1 and 5 feetSelfies taken at 1 and 5 feet. Photos: Rutgers University

THURSDAY, March 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you think that selfie you just took makes your nose look big, you're not alone.

In fact, new research suggests that selfies might be giving Americans a distorted image of their own schnozzes -- potentially leading to more requests for nose jobs.

That could add up to a lot of nose jobs: In 2014 alone, over 93 billion selfies were taken on Android phones per day, the researchers noted.

Because selfies are taken at close range, they can distort the appearance of a person's nose, explained facial plastic and reconstructive surgery expert Dr. Boris Paskhover. He's an assistant professor in the department of otolaryngology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

"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," he explained 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," Paskhover said.

To help patients understand this, Paskhover and another researcher created a mathematical model that explains nose distortion in close-up photos.

The model shows that an average selfie, taken about 12 inches from the face, makes the base of the nose appear about 30 percent wider and the tip of the nose about 7 percent wider than a photograph taken at the standard 5-foot portrait distance, which provides a more accurate image of the face.

A research letter describing the mathematical model was published online March 1 in the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 55 percent of its members said people came to them last year to ask about cosmetic surgery because they wanted to look better in selfies.

More information

The U.S. Office on Women's Health has more about cosmetic surgery.

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