Do you want to take a beautiful selfie

7/15/2022 5:26:41 PM

Do you want to take a beautiful selfie? Just turn your face slightly to the left

"Wait, wait. The left side of my face is more beautiful in selfies, so let me change the pose." Sarah said when she was taking a group selfie with her friends.

Have you ever thought about which side of your face looks more attractive and beautiful in selfies? Like Sarah, do you have the habit of taking selfies from only one side of your face? If your answer is yes, which side of your face looks more attractive in a selfie, left or right? The answer to this question is only in your photo gallery on your phone, so check it.

Recently, with the rapid popularity of social media among people such as Instagram, it is estimated that women spend 48 minutes a day and five hours a week taking photos and selfies. This shows how important taking a good selfie is for social media users. By examining the selfies available on Instagram, it has been found that there is a greater tendency to take selfies from the left side of the face than the right half or the front view.

Manovich in 2017, worked on 3840 selfies uploaded on Instagram in six major cities of the world: (London, São Paulo, New York City, Berlin, Moscow, and Bangkok). The selfies were divided into two categories: standard selfies, which are taken by holding the smartphone at arm's length, and mirror selfies, which are taken by taking a mirror image of yourself, with the smartphone itself standing in front of a real mirror. He noticed that selfie-takers tended to show more of the left cheek than the right cheek (left cheek in standard selfies and right cheek in mirror selfies). This bias exists regardless of the city where the photos were taken and the gender of the photographers.

The desire to show the left side of the face is not only limited to social media and selfies. In fact, this tendency has started since the time of the early Greeks, by studying the objects discovered from this era, the tendency to paint from the left side of the face has been seen. By examining the portraits on the walls of the Egyptian pyramids, portraits from the left side of the face were found to a greater extent. A study of 1,474 portraits painted in Europe from the 16th to the 20th century found that nearly 60 percent showed the sitter preferring the left side of the face. Even Mona Lisa is a famous example. She decided to turn her face a little and make her left cheek more visible.

In fact, artists believe that more inner feelings are found in the eyes that look from the left side. Conversely, scientists, at least in their official portraits for the Royal Society of England, usually showed the right side of their faces in portraits to appear colder and less emotional, more like the stereotypical rationalist. 

But what is the scientific reason for this? The hypothesis of the right hemisphere can justify it. This hypothesis states that the left hemisphere is associated with cognitive processes, while the right hemisphere is involved with emotion processing. It has also been seen that the expression of emotions decreases with damage to the right hemisphere of the brain. Also, the right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for controlling the movement of the muscles on the left side of the body. For this reason, when a person wants to express his feelings in a selfie or a photo, he unconsciously tilts his body and face slightly to the left.

Finally, if you are one of those people who are used to taking selfies from the left side, don't worry. You are not alone. Trust this feeling to take emotional selfies and share them on social media.

Written by: Fatemeh Moghimi

Poster design: Alireza Bagheri


1. ​Manovich L, Ferrari V, Buno N. Selfie-takers prefer left cheeks: Converging evidence from the (extended) selfiecity database. Front Psychol. 2017;8(SEP):1–10.

2. ​Lindell AK. Consistently showing your best side? Intra-individual consistency in #selfie pose orientation. Front Psychol. 2017;8(FEB):1–7.

3. ​Mielke M, Reisch LM, Mehlmann A, Schindler S, Bien CG, Kissler J. Right medial temporal lobe structures particularly impact early stages of affective picture processing. Hum Brain Mapp. 2022;43(2):787–98.

4. ​Ross ED, Gupta SS, Adnan AM, Holden TL, Havlicek J, Radhakrishnan S. Neurophysiology of spontaneous facial expressions: II. Motor control of the right and left face is partially independent in adults. Cortex [Internet]. 2019;111(November):164–82. Available from:

5. ​Alves NT, Fukusima SS, Aznar-Casanova JA. Models of brain asymmetry in emotional processing. Psychol Neurosci. 2008;1(1):63–6.

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