- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2018

“Does this smartphone make my nose look big?”

It might, according to researchers at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School who point out that most people are unaware that close-up selfies produce a distorted image.

The nose can appear 30 percent wider according to a new analysis, which adds a new wrinkle to modern day vanity.

“Young adults are constantly taking selfies to post to social media and think those images are representative of how they really look, which can have an impact on their emotional state. I want them to realize that when they take a selfie they are in essence looking into a portable funhouse mirror,” said Dr. Boris Paskhover, an assistant professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Otolaryngology who specializes in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Patients frequently come to him asking for a nose job, toting their selfie as proof.

Working with Stanford University computer scientists, Dr. Paskhover developed a mathematical model that shows the rate of nasal distortion created by those close-range photos.

The average selfie, taken about 12 inches from the face, makes the nasal base appear approximately 30 percent wider and the nasal tip 7 percent wider than if the photograph had been taken at 5 feet — a standard portrait distance that provides a more proportional representation of facial features.

How selfies drive people’s self-image is now a public health issue, Dr. Paskhover said. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons reports that 55 percent of surgeons say people come to them seeking cosmetic procedures for improved selfies.

The research was published Thursday in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, an academic journal.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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