How To Take The 'Perfect' Selfie, According To Science

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How To Take The 'Perfect' Selfie, According To Science getty

Do you think that you've got the selfie thing down? Well, think again.

In 2015, a computer science graduate student at Stanford University had found the secret to the perfect selfie. A Huffington Post article narrates how Andre Karpathy "trained a Convolutional Neural Network, a type of data mining network capable of processing 140 million different specifications, to judge whether a selfie was successful or not."


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To save you the nitty gritty bits of how he went about gathering this data (which you can read about on his blog), here's a breakdown.

Karpathy collected two million photos with the hashtag "selfie." He then analyzed the number of likes per follower, and ranked the ones with the most as "good selfies" and the rest with a "negative" label.

Then, he sorted those photos by the number of follows.

"I gave a small bonus for each additional tag on the image, assuming that extra tags bring more eyes. Then I marched down this sorted list in groups of 100, and sorted those 100 selfies based on their number of likes. I only used selfies that were online for more than a month to ensure a near-stable like count," he said on his blog.


This is what he found, and it can help you to create the perfect selfie:

  1. Be a woman. (He found no men in the top 100 photos.)
  2. Use the rule of thirds. "The face always occupies about one-third of the image, is slightly tilted, and is positioned in the center and at the top," he noticed.
  3. Have long hair.
  4. Use filters.
  5. Add a border.

RELATED: The Startling Effect Selfies Have On Your Facial Features

Take a lesson from Kim Kardashian, for example:



A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Oct 22, 2018 at 1:11pm PDT

And this one:



A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Jul 10, 2015 at 8:26pm PDT

And another:

Additional research has found that taking a selfie at an angle is definitely a major factor in whether or not it will be successful.


In 2017, German researchers found that a 15 degree angle is the sweet spot for taking the most attractive selfies. Interestingly enough, showing the left-hand side of the face makes you more attractive, while showing the right-hand side makes you seem more intelligent. 

The research also revealed that taking selfies both from above and below are big no-nos.

However, the study also says that selfie-taking is something that needs to be studied much more, since there is currently not that much research done on it and since it has become such an important social phenomenon. 


Are you a man and devastated that your selfie didn't make it to this Top 100? It's okay! Karpathy notes that the rules are different for men and celebrities. 

Now, show the world your best selfie.

RELATED: If You Post These Types Of Selfies, You're A Total Narcissist (Says Science)

Caithlin Pena is an editor for YourTango who enjoys books, movies, and writes about astrology and lifestyle topics.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in April 2016 and was updated with the latest information.