You Better Selfie, or You Could Be Left on the Shelfie

So you think you can selfie well enough to attract a member of the opposite sex?

Well I can honestly tell you that your skills will pale in comparison to the true talent of Korean selfie-takers up and down this fair nation! This is due to the fact that selfies have become, perhaps, the largest way to flirt here and the absence of Snapchat from the Korean social network. This means a selfie isn’t just for seconds, it’s forever.

Not to worry though, once again, I am here to be your advocate and teach you what I have learned about the art of the selfie. With particular focus on making yourself look desireable to members of the opposite gender.

I hasten to add that these tips are given in earnest, as if I get one more Snapchat of a poorly composed selfie, I shall scream…

So now, let me take a selfie.

Temple selfie


This one’s taken outside to show I’m interesting and into nature.

As you can see the first step of taking a great selfie is to have an interesting background, which here, is often not difficult as I’ve been trying my best to get out of the city at every opportunity. However, should you not have such opportunities and want to  just take snaps to numb the minds enthrall the hearts of others, then just take selfies EVERYWHERE to show how well you can walk and use your cell-phone simultaneously.

First, you have to look good, I mean who wants to see a snap of me looking anything but my best? So you gotta find an angle to enhance your inner  true outer beauty.


I’ve gone for midways between the two. Step one complete.

Step 1: In Korea that means making your eyes as striking as possible. Hold the camera ever so slightly tilted toward your head and at an elevated angle. You can adjust this to make it as obvious or subtle as you wish.

I’m sure there are some psychological reasons for why this makes my head look less enormous and therefore more “attractive”, unfortunately I didn’t bring my cognitive neuroscience notes with me to Korean and thus cannot check my coursework from last year.

I’m willing to hazard it has something to do with facial symmetry and the golden ratio or some such theory that’s likely to be debunked any day now. Or even worse: written into the latest Dan Brown novel about eugenics in the Catholic church.

Step 2: If your head is big and blocky like mine, the above will not suffice for making a selfie worth anybody’s time, and so we’ve gotta step it up a bit. How you ask?

Why, forced perspective of course!

20140715_1427423This is easy to do wrong which results in everyone realizing the truth of your neanderthal cranium hiding behind the veil of forced perspective. Luckily I’m here to lead the way once again.

This one didn’t quite accomplish the desired effect as my hand is too close to the lens. However, it did make my head look smaller and shaved the squareness off my jaw, making my head smaller still.

A quick Snapchat pic won’t be too affected by this but were I sending this to a beloved it just wouldn’t do!

I’m including this as a warning of the dangers of too-close ‘kimchi’.

Still not rocking the selfie for all it’s worth? Can’t seem to get anything just right? Or maybe just having a bad skin day? Don’t worry Step 3 will solve all your selfie-woes.


I may or may not have enlarged my squinty right eye in this one too…

Step 3: It’s time to call in the big guns, if none of the above are working and you really need to impress, then look no further than PhotoWonder (or similar photo-editing app). With apps like these you can do everything from slimming your jaw in order to remove the need for forced perspective, right the way to changing your eye color.


My personal favorite is the better skin filter which cleanses your skin while leaving you looking only slightly like a cartoon. Or like you’ve stepped into some very flattering lighting. This is my favorite since I began working my way through the jar of Jelly Bellys from last week and my skin has gone to seed.


Runway ready!

So there you have it folks, how to selfie like a Korean teenage (to twenty-something) girl or boy on the prowl. I hope I’ve helped you take a great new pic for your Tinder profile as you search for love, and please send me some feedback on how it works out for you.

It is important to note that I left out such tips as selfie on the subway (owing to J have wrecked my attempts at such snaps) and take selfies in inconvenient locations like on the middle of a stairs as I’ve found those to be universal selfie rules, not specific to my much loved Neon Republic.

Failing all else go for a supercilious half-smirk and suggestively raised eyebrow!

Failing all else go for a supercilious half-smirk and suggestively raised eyebrow!

I am also aware that these tips are perhaps somewhat hyperbolic descriptions of selfies the world over, and not just in Korea. I say this as I count myself as one of the many who are just vain enough, to consider that perhaps that song was about me after all and therefore, I must send picture of myself to all and sundry.


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