Selfie Science: 'Which Camera Angle Makes Me Look More Attractive?'

I am not photogenic.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I'm unattractive or not incredibly sexy, I'm simply saying that for some reason, anytime a camera comes out my instinct is to slightly close one eye and smile like this:

Love me. (Image: Sara Nachlis)

Well, that's all about to change.

Recently I read a study by La Trobe University senior lecturer in experimental neuropsychology, Dr. Anukka Lindell, which said the key to a good selfie may come down to shooting from your left side.

Lindell searched #selfie, analyzed the 10 most recent selfies of 100 females and 100 males, and found that left-sided selfies were more popular than center- or right-sided ones.

"92 percent of the sample showed an overall posing bias, with 41 percent favoring their left cheek, 31.5 percent preferring their right cheek, and 19.5 percent repeatedly posting midline selfies," Lindell wrote.

She even gave some pointers:

"Tips for posing for the 'perfect portrait' and the 'perfect selfie' regularly include avoid facing the camera head on in a midline pose, unless one is aiming to look bigger; instead, adopting a 3/4 or 2/3 turn toward the camera is encourages as it introduces more angles, highlights the cheekbones, and makes the subject of the photo appear slimmer."

It can't be that simple. Can it?

I decided to ignore Mariah Carey and put the left side, best side theory to the test.

First, I tried standing to the left of everyone I met, but no one said anything about my looking more attractive. In fact, the general response was, "Get away from me."

So instead, I took photos and decided to embark upon the vainest adventure of my life.

I quickly snapped two selfies I considered better than average (but far from Kim Kardashian level,) put them on Facebook, and asked my Facebook friends to vote using likes and comments.

I wrote:

"Working on an article and would love for you all to tell me which one of these selfies is most attractive. Likes will do, comments if you have the time.

"Please, do it for scienceand my self esteem."

Image: Sara Nachlis

Have you ever posted two pictures of your face on Facebook and asked people to vote? God, I hope not. It’s a freak thing to do. And yet, I felt amazing.

Well, the results are in and as it turns out, science is right.

I am the most popular girl in the world. But only on my left side.

It seems letting people vote between two photos of you is the best way to find out which of your Facebook friends are actually still reading your posts. People came out of the woodwork for this—people I haven't actually spoken to in at least 10 years were eager to share their opinion.

The following are some of my favorite comments:

"I mean, if we're talking about attracting folk on a dating profile, the first one because it, uh, shows more boob. The face profile on both is borderline identical, so at the very least, the first gives more 'information.' Objectively speaking."


"Left. Right you look scared because of the angle."


"Left. You look suspicious on the right."


"Left/#1. Photo on right seems a little too close, and is showing a bit of perspective distortion (makes features towards the center of the image appear larger in proportion compared to things away from center.)"

—Brian, my high school choir teacher

"You gotta get better selfie lighting. Neither!"

—My former friend Olivia

"I like right but now I feel weird since everyone else said left."


"Left! This is it, baby!"

—Niamh, my childhood babysitter

"Left, listen to your mama."

—My mother

I've learned three things here today.

  1. Science is always right.
  2. If you want to feel popular, let people vote on images of you.
  3. Always listen to your mama.

From here on in, in the immortal words of Beyoncé, all my selfies will now be taken to the left to the left.