What Your Selfie Habits Say About Your Personality

Whether you're smiling big on your Insta stories or practicing your smolder for your dating profile, odds are you've partaken in the occasional front camera photoshoot. If you consider yourself a professional selfie taker, you're not alone — scroll through anyone's camera roll long enough and you're bound to find at least one selfie. This term for new-age self-portraits became official lingo in 2013 when Oxford Dictionary declared it the word of the year, defining a selfie as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website."

There is no right or wrong way to take a selfie — but experts have found that how you frame your selfies says a lot about you. In a research article published by Frontiers, one study found that 54% of men and 90% of women using Tinder posted selfies on their dating profiles. They found that men were more likely to angle their phones down slightly when taking selfies, whereas women favored higher angles. This is most likely due to the typical laws of attraction, where men try to present themselves as "dominant" by appearing tall and strong, which lower-angled selfies tend to reflect. Women commonly took selfies that make them look smaller and shorter to appear more attractive to the opposite sex.

But there is more to a good selfie than just the angle — each time you strike a pose, your selfie says a lot about your personality.

A big smile

When you picture someone taking a selfie, you probably imagine a stretched out arm, a slightly tilted angle, and a big, bright smile. After all, as our favorite red-haired musical orphan once sang, "you're never fully dressed without a smile." A simple smiling selfie is the OG pose, a tried and true style that you know you can rely on to capture your essence. But not all smiles are the same, and experts have found that each type of smile says a lot about who you are and how people perceive you in selfie form.

According to Glow Orthodontics, those who show off their pearly whites in photos radiate confidence. A big, genuine smile with an open mouth is often associated with traits such as being friendly, agreeable, and trustworthy. A wide smile with a closed mouth tends to communicate professionalism — if you are a no-teeth smiler, you're probably an extremely ambitious go-getter and you've noticed that people take you more seriously when you conceal your teeth. A small smirk can be seen as playful and sultry, especially when paired with a raised eyebrow for the ultimate dating profile pic.

No matter what type of smile you're flashing in a selfie when you post a genuine grin on your social media, your confidence shines through.

Mirror selfies

While most selfies are taken with the front-facing camera, mirror pics switch up the norm by using your back camera to capture your reflection on a mirrored surface. Notice how we didn't just say mirror — that's right, these days, practically any reflective surface can serve as a mirror selfie. One of the most popular photo trends of 2023 is the "traffic mirror selfie" that captures your on-the-go realness while strolling by traffic lights. And before you ask, yes, it is totally a Gen Z trend and we are here for it. Creators are sharing their favorite mirror selfies on TikTok, capturing their smiles in everything from sunglasses to their reflection in puddles a la Mulan.

If you favor mirror selfies, you're most likely super fashionable — you know that your front camera won't be able to capture the entirety of your cute fit. Most of your selfies only feature a part of your face, cluing viewers in on your introverted nature and air of mystery. You might also be a little self-conscious, and find comfort in hiding part of your face with your phone while you photograph just your "good side." The surface of your mirror selfie might change, but your signature pose and slight smile stay the same.

Every time you post a selfie, it is all heart-eyes in the replies because you know how to take the perfect mirror selfie every time.

Snapchat filters

These days, taking stunning selfies has never been easier thanks to filters. There are tons of filters to choose from that subtly enhance your natural features, add different styles of makeup, and even generate your portrait into different art styles thanks to AI on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. But the filters that speak volumes about your personality are the iconic Snapchat filters. From the adorable brown dog to the whimsical flower crown, these overlays are the perfect addition to any selfie.

According to Cosmopolitan, filters that transform your face into an animal often invoke silly, playful vibes. Whether you prefer the "childlike wonder" of the deer or the "mysterious" glamour of the golden butterflies, these filters let us know that you're kindhearted and appreciate the small things in life. Glam filters on the other hand such as FaceTune and bold makeup give us the impression that you are fabulous and you know it. While you might come off a little standoffish to some people, your charisma and vibrance win people over. If you opt for a silly filter that transforms you into a one-eyed monster or ages you 50 years, it is clear that you like to have fun. You are lighthearted, don't take yourself too seriously, and are definitely super fun at parties. You are also probably super confident, knowing that even with artificial wrinkles, you look fabulous.

Funny faces

For those looking to shake up their basic smiling selfies, poses like the infamous duck lips come to the rescue. Duck lips might give off total 2012 vibes, but that doesn't mean they're out of style. Duck lips are the perfect way to accentuate your cheekbones and luscious lips — a favorite pose by celebrities looking to flaunt their brand new buccal fat removal.

Unfortunately for our pursed-lipped friends, research published by the Computers in Human Behavior journal found that people who opt for the duck face pose are often perceived as "emotionally unstable and even 'neurotic' to some extent" (via Times of India). But if posing for a kiss in every selfie is your signature pose, we say go for it. After all, if stars like Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande are flashing a duck face, you can too.

Pursed lips aren't the only funny face selfie that has people in a total chokehold — posing with your tongue out is pretty much a rite of passage on social media at this point. Research shows that people who stick their tongues out in selfies are seen as fun-loving. But try not to use your goofy face as a crutch: experts noticed that people who pose with their tongues out might not be super comfortable taking photos and use silly poses to hide some of their vulnerability.

The infamous peace sign

If you're looking for hacks to take better selfies, try incorporating your hands. Most of us have a hard time figuring out where to place our hands when we have our picture taken, but when it comes to selfies, you're in control. Holding your face in your hand indicates innocence while framing your face with a Vogue pose strikes viewers as fierce and powerful. One of the most popular ways to enhance your selfie is by throwing up a peace sign close to your face.

Flashing a peace sign in photos most likely means you are quirky and full of love (or you're a little awkward but in a totally cute way.) From John Lennon to Richard Nixon, people have been photographed throwing up their index and middle finger in a V formation for decades to indicate peace. But the exact origins of the famous pose are still up for debate.

According to Vice, one of the most well-known origins is from a baseball comic back in 1968 called "Kyojin no Hoshi." In the comic, people would flash what we now see as a peace sign as a show of support, making a V shape with their fingers to symbolize victory. Since then, it became one of the most popular poses across Japan and spread rapidly around the globe to signify peace and love. These days, you're likely to see at least one selfie featuring a peace sign every time to start scrolling.