According to AOL millennials take about 55% of selfies shared online. If an average millennial is expected to take 25 700 selfies in their life and we look at the lifespan of people being about 27 375 days, gasp, that's plenty!
And one would think that you'd figure out your angles at least by number 1000, when you're posting close to one a day, right?
But many of us believe that there are two types of people who exist: those who are photogenic and those who aren't. The Golden Ratio of beauty and all that. And some say they look much better IRL than on their pictures. (A nice surprise for your Tinder date then!)
Being photogenic, if you look at many 'definitions' online, is pretty much a concept that we've been conditioned to believe in. Many say it's about being natural in front of the camera, while others stress beautiful people 'just have it' and are 'so lucky'.
I asked a few local photographers for their take:
"I personally don’t believe in the term 'photogenic' as it tends to limit beauty and photography into one singular definition, which results in monotonous parameters and executions. However, the term photogenic can sometimes work in our favour, to differentiate between what works and what doesn’t." - Themba Mbuyisa, Joburg-based photographer.
"It means the photographer is decent? You are beautiful no matter the angle you’re taken from." - Jana Heyns, Cape Town-based video journalist.
"The camera will get the best out someone if that person is relaxed and shows enough confidence. This is when one becomes photogenic to the photographer." - Rizqua Barnes, Cape Town-based photographer.
“Being photogenic is your best self that the camera brings out. Everybody is photogenic it’s just that some people know how to make that come out when they need to.” - Lufuno Ramadwa, Cape Town-based photographer.
You know there are dreams you have not even had the capacity to envision yet. Shooting for BTS things for the @nike #AM270 x @ellesouthafrica was a dream come to life ?? I absorbed so much this day. I know #airmaxday is long gone, but this will stay in my heart forever???. Thank you @ellesouthafrica & @nikesouthafrica *These are the images and video I got from the day ??
But how has social media shaped our idea of what it means to be photogenic?
Today, our narcissism is undoubtedly fueled by social media. Online filters and other editing tools used to create smoother skin, bigger eyes and glowy skin have ushered in an era where we can all be photogenic - enter the birth of our need for Instagram or SnapChat filters IRL.
Local plastic surgeon, Dr. Clare Neser says there has been an evident upsurge over the last few years in 'selfie-induced surgeries'. These are smaller ops, usually inspired by people's need to look better in their pictures. This can be anything from rhinoplasty (nose job) to micro-botox and even dimple-plasty - creating a faux dimple via manipulation to mimic the look of an actual dimple.
Like the world of faux beauty, for example where we have become more used to appreciating fake breasts as 'beautiful' rather than natural breasts (be they big, small, saggy or whatever), online beauty in the form of filtered images become our ideal. And it's now shaping the way we view 'being beautiful' offline.
Do you agree? Do you ever post photos of yourself online that haven't been filtered or edited? We'd love to hear from you - chat to us here.