Selfies can make your nose look 30% bigger, according to a plastic surgeon

New research suggests smartphone self portraits are fuelling the demand for nose jobs.

Press Association
Last updated: 2 March 2018 - 12.05pm

Selfies are prompting many to develop a skewed self-image and fuelling the demand for nose jobs, new research claims.

This is based on the fact that close-range photos such as selfies can result in distorted facial features, like for example, making the nose appear larger than usual.

[Read more: Find out why Instagram is now cracking down on wildlife selfies]

According to Dr Boris Paskhover, a plastic surgeon in the US who specialises in reconstructive surgery, patients have been requesting surgery to make their noses smaller, citing selfies the main reason.

Selfie image distortion demonstration
Portrait A on the left is taken at 12 inches, while portrait B on the right is taken at 60 inches (Boris Paskhover/Rutgers New Jersey Medical School)

Dr Paskhover, who is an assistant professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Otolaryngology, said: “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.

“I want them to realise that when they take a selfie they are in essence looking into a portable funhouse mirror.”

In an attempt to discourage patients from using selfies to evaluate their nose size, he teamed up with Ohad Fried, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science.

Together, they developed a mathematical model that shows how the nose is distorted in close-range photos.

Selfie image distortion demonstration.
The researchers calculated the extent of the distortion (Ohad Fried/Stanford University)

The calculations revealed the nasal base appears approximately 30% wider and the nasal tip 7% wider when the phone is one foot from the face.

By contrast, an image taken five feet away results in facial features appearing in the same proportions as they would in the real person.

The model is based on facial measurements previously gathered from a large number of men and women from different ethnic backgrounds.

The research is published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

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