The Science of Selfies AND Celebrating the most Awkward/Awesome Selfies of all time – A Gallery

The Science of Selfies AND Celebrating the most Awkward/Awesome Selfies of all time – A Gallery

9th September 2014 // By warholst // Health & Science

Yes we’ve all seen the selfie from the Oscars that became a record-breaking tweet shortly after being taken.  The Oxford dictionary also crowned selfie it’s word of the year for 2013, but what is the science behind the cultural phenomenon of the selfie?

Selfies aren’t anything new, we may be in the midst of a golden age for selfies, but throughout history the phenomenon has raised its head every time a new pictorial form rises up. Check out the first ever recorded selfie below.

A new book by science writer Jennifer Ouellette "Me, Myself and Why: Searching for the Science of Self" puts forward that selfies could feed a psychological need to extend a claim of personal identity into new territory, in real life or cyberspace.

Talking about the Selfie, Ouellette stated "Your Facebook page, for instance, is one gigantic identity claim. It's how you wish to be perceived. If you want to get artsy-fartsy, you could say it's a form of performance. ... I think the selfie phenomenon is a different version of that. It is definitely a way of saying, 'Here I am. This is me.' It's a mirror kind of thing, particularly since people often turn the camera on themselves.'"

The motivation behind the selfie can be strange, we know that women consistently post more selfies than men do, and that Bangkok's selfies were significantly happier-looking than Moscow's (yes there are studies on this - Ed). Essentially though, Ouellette claims that selfies are just an effort to claim an identity and this is natural to being human.

Ouellette claims this is why we also collect totems that can do one of two things, they can serve as external connections to our internal lives — items that can range from posters on the walls and pictures on our desks to trophy cases and custom-made bobbleheads. Or, they can be as an identity claim, a way of signifying who you are to the outside word.

Take this example, if you happen to work in an office (let’s hope you don’t), which way are the pictures on your office desk facing? If they're facing toward you, they're feeling regulators - they are an extension of yourself. If they're facing toward your visitors, they're identity claims. Either way, they serve an important role in defining the self.

One thing is certain, selfies are here to stay, so why not celebrate them, so we bring you, the 20 worst selfies ever, yes, EVER!   Feel free to out-do us!


The Awesome Angry Old Dude Selfie


The Dinosaur Pose Selfie


The Fat Kid From the Sandlot Kids Look-A-Like Selfie


The Actual Guy from the Sandlot Kids


The I Fucking Heart Cats Selfie


The I'm Jesus Christ, Bitch! Selfie


The Mischievous Monkey Selfie


The Pug Shirt Selfie


The Squirrel Selfie


The Dad Schools Son Selfie


The El Creepo


The So Wonewy Selfie


Just a Guy and His Lawnmower Selfie


The Thumb Selfie