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Selfies can make your nose look 30 percent bigger, study says

Dissatisfied with your selfies? Pay attention to your angles, because the close-up flicks can make your nose look bigger by 30 percent, according to a new report. 

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Researchers from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Stanford University recently conducted a study, published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, to determine how selfies distort the face. 

To do so, they used the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which collects data on people’s body measurements. The information included the facial dimensions of a variety of individuals from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. 

They then created a mathematical model, which included drawings of an average female and male face, to calculate the distortions when a phone was 12 inches, 5 feet and an infinite distance away. 

After analyzing the results, they discovered that photos taken at a distance of 12 inches increased nose size by 30 percent for men and 29 percent for women, compared to photographs taken at an infinite camera distance. Images taken from five feet away did not distort the nose size. 

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“For years, I've heard patients and family members say, 'Oh, look at my nose, it looks so big,' when they show me a selfie. I was always telling my patients, ‘that's not how you really look,’” lead author and plastic surgeon Boris Paskhover told Live Science. “The takeaway is, the selfie distorts your facial features.”

A 2018 poll conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons revealed that 55 percent of surgeons had patients requesting cosmetic procedures to improve their appearances and selfies and other pictures. The percentage was up from 42 percent the previous year. 

"One of my concerns is, I don't want society in general to be distorted," Paskhover said. "I don't want people to think. 'This is what I look like,' when they see a selfie. You don't look like that. You look good."

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