Researchers from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Stanford University have discovered that photos taken at a distance of 12 inches increased nose size by 30 percent for men and 29 percent for women, compared to photographs taken at an infinite camera distance.
They came up with this finding following a recently conducted study, published on Thursday in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery. The research was aimed at determining how using smartphones to take selfies distort people’s face.
The researchers used the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which collects data on people’s body measurements. The information included the facial dimensions of a variety of individuals from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
They then created a mathematical model, which included drawings of an average female and male face, to calculate the distortions when a phone was 12 inches, 5 feet and an infinite distance away. After analyzing the results, it was found that mages taken from five feet away did not distort the nose size.
Given that mini self-portraits (selfies) are now a currency traded on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, and are increasingly a way people see themselves, and their flaws, plastic surgeons are warning that sometimes what we see in selfies is not really what is there.
A 2018 poll conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons revealed that 55 percent of surgeons had patients requesting cosmetic procedures to improve their appearances and selfies and other pictures. The percentage was up from 42 percent the previous year.
A facial plastic surgeon at Rutgers University and one of the authors of the paper, Boris Paskhover, says patients have been coming into his clinic demanding nose jobs because they thought their noses looked too big in their selfies. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons has noticed the trend too.
“I’d say, ‘Your nose doesn’t look big — there’s distortion when you keep a camera close to your face,” Paskhover reported telling clients who came for surgery to help them look better in selfies.
“For years, I’ve heard patients and family members say, ‘Oh, look at my nose, it looks so big,’ when they show me a selfie. I was always telling my patients, ‘that’s not how you really look,’” lead author and plastic surgeon Boris Paskhover told Live Science. “The takeaway is, the selfie distorts your facial features.”
“One of my concerns is, I don’t want society in general to be distorted,” Paskhover said, adding that “I don’t want people to think. ‘This is what I look like,’ when they see a selfie. You don’t look like that. You look good”.