If you want a flattering profile picture - don't use a selfie

On social media of all kinds, the selfie is by far and away the most common form profile picture.  Before we leave anyone behind, by "selfie" we mean self portrait.

Selfies are normally taken with a smartphone facing backwards and held at arms length.  Those seeking a full length shot will often resort to a mirror, although this makes the "selfieness" of the shot far more apparent.

The selfie certainly has its merits.  It's quick, easy, you can take one almost anywhere and crucially you don't need help.

However, for those wishing to show themselves off to their best advantage, whether on Facebook, Twitter or an online dating site, the selfie is definitely not to be recommended.

Why? Basically it comes down to the fact that the camera is just too close to your face. If the distance from camera to subject is short, everything becomes stretched out and weird distortions happen. If you want to look like the horse in the photo, go ahead but really, to get a flattering perspective, the camera needs to be further than arms length away.

That's before we consider that you can't look natural while holding an arm out in front of you, or the whole host of other things that go into making a beautiful portrait.

So, no using selfies as profile pics.  Unless you want to look like a comedy horse.