Why your left eye is the secret to a successful selfie

Dark circles under your eyes, a pimple that disfigures your nose or a prominent double chin; taking the perfect selfie sometimes seems like a mission impossible. Although scientists have discovered a useful trick, while making the picture, you need to focus on your eyes, and more specifically, your left eye.

Painters often use the eye of their model as the centre of their artwork. The same applies to portrait photographers: if you were to fold a photo in two, one of those two eyes would be on the fold line. A trick that self-makers also use, according to a new study, published in the scientific magazine PLOS ONE.

Scientists have analysed about 4,000 selfies from Instagram. The photos were taken in New York, São Paulo, Moscow, Berlin and Bangkok.

These are standard selfies – i.e. photos taken with a stretched arm or a selfie stick – and selfies in the bathroom mirror. Grelfies, or group photos, and selfies with animals were not examined.

Each image looked at the horizontal position of the eyes opposite the centerline of the picture. What seems? Many selfie makers tended to centre one of the eyes, a little more to the left than right in the middle of the picture. And most of the time it was the left eye.

The scientists are not surprised by the results. Previous research has already shown that selfie makers often regard their left jaw as ‘their most photogenic side’.

“It has been proven many times that painters tend to centre one eye in their portraits. Selfie makers have taken that habit,” concludes lead investigator Christopher Tyler, professor at the University of London.

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