Good news: your nose is not as big as it looks in your photos

Photo: GettyImage

In the age of selfies , inferiority complexes emerge: is my nose too big? The answer is no. At least not as big as it looks in your photos. The problem is the distortion created by the wide-angle lens of the phone when used over short distances, such as with selfies.

There is a study on this and it has been published today by the JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery magazine . According to researchers at the American Academy of Plastic Facial Surgery, more than half of plastic surgeons in the United States last year received patients who wanted to look better at selfies . “They take out their phone and they say look at this photo, look how big my nose looks, ” plastic surgeon Boris Paskhover explained to The Verge .

On the left, a portrait taken at 30 centimeters. On the right, a photo of the same subject made a meter and a half away Image: JAMA

Facial Plastic Surgery Paskhover decided to partner with a computer scientist and create several models of human heads. In their research, the couple discovered that a typical selfie taken 30 centimeters away distorts the nose so that it seems significantly wider than it actually is. Specifically, 29% wider in women and 30% more in men.

The results make sense because they correspond to a photographic concept called perspective distortion . All phones have short focal length lenses that correspond to a wide-angle lens. Used at such small distances, these lenses make objects that are close to the camera appear larger. Bad news if your nose bothers you, but a powerful weapon when you take a selfie at a choppy angle to look thinner.


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