How to Look Smart and Sexy in Selfies
Picking one selfie (out of the embarrassing slew you took inside a low-key, eccentric dive bar bathroom) to set as your new Facebook default can sometimes be the most difficult feat of our days. You can consult a round table of your closest BFFs to decide on what filter best highlights the sharpness of your mediocre jawline, but more often than not you’ll come back with not-so-definitive results and a depleted ego. Depending on the type of image you’re aiming for—smart, hot, disassociated, or even employable—there are countless no-nos as well as tactics that have proven successful. All of which is now conveniently compiled into a nice handbook for you.
Last week, researchers at Cambridge University assembled a list of notes for you to keep in mind when trying to serve killer looks in your next selfie. After soliciting humans and computer programs to survey over 1,000 different Facebook users’ profile pictures, an algorithm was developed that will essentially help you slay any aestheticized image you could possibly desire.
After giving the human subjects an intelligence exam, the researchers then asked each participant to try to guess the intelligence level of the selfied subjects in question using only their Facebook profile photos. The computers, on the other hand, were apparently schooled in academic texts that cover image aesthetics, image perception, and image recognition literature, and then asked to rate the intellect of the face before them.
And don’t get it twisted! The inclusion of books, glasses, or any other object that indicates intelligence in the selfies did not an Einstein make; the computer overlooked these flagrant clues to ensure the utmost accuracy. Which, in turn, stopped posers right in their tracks.
“Most intelligent people in our dataset understand that a profile picture is most effective with a single person,” the researchers noted in their findings. The Cambridge analytics team also found that people with higher IQs tend to avoid using the colors pink, purple, and red in their profile images; show less skin; use fewer colors overall in their profile photo (with the exception of green); and tend to post clearer, less blurry selfies (duh).
And yet apparently, if you’re hoping to score your next dream job, your better off going for a photo where you look more attractive than smart. Facebook profiles photos of job candidates that had minimal contrast in their images, and appeared to have skin that looked flawless (even glimmering), were 39 percent more likely to secure a job interview. Yay!
So remember, kids: the world doesn’t think you’re any smarter with Steinbeck or Joyce in your personal library—it’s all about the color, lighting, and personal glow. Amen.
Images via. The New York Times and Fusion
Stay tuned to Milk for more on selfie culture.