Selfie Etiquette

When it comes to taking selfies, there's a fine line between fun and appropriate and the absolutely absurd.  Modern Manners Guy clears up any misunderstandings about selfie etiquette. 

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #298

For those of you who don’t yet know what a selfie is, allow me to numb your brain with a definition from The Oxford English Dictionary (yes, this term is in The Oxford English Dictionary). A selfie is: 

A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam, and uploaded to a social media website.

And when it comes to anything being done solely for social media, you know there is going to be unmannerly behavior a-plenty. That’s where I step in.


To say I’m shocked that the concept of selfies has gotten out of hand is to say I’m shocked that a carton of milk became spoiled after sitting out in the sun all day. It’s inevitable for people to throw all reason out the window when it comes to taking photos designed only for getting attention on social media. But I’m still astonished at the lengths people will go to in order to embarrass themselves. 

It turns out, I’m not the only one who despises improper selfies. Take a look at Jimmy Fallon’s skit called “Ew” about teenage girls discussing all things “teenage” and being obsessed with selfies, including the horrific duck face (oh, duck face, how I loathe thee). 

So let’s get this unmannerly party started with a few selfies that we must stop doing #asap #forreal #trustmeyoulookridiculous:

Tip #1: No Duck Face

In the world of bad selfies, the first and worst type that comes to mind is the dreaded duck face. The duck face is when you push your lips together in a combination of a pout and a pucker, giving the impression that you have larger cheekbones and bigger lips (thanks Urban Dictionary). The duck face selfie seems to be largely popular with the female crowd and holds no bearing on age. You can have15-year-olds posing with duck face outside school, and then their moms posting photos of themselves with the same ridiculous expression while out to dinner with hashtag #girlsnightyeah!

Ladies, here’s a tip from all the males in the world: We think the duck face is beyond hideous!

I know that selfies are a form of self expression and it’s up to every person as to how they want to pose for a picture on their own Facebook or Twitter page…but why make yourself look this stupid on purpose? I’m no model but I’d much prefer a photo where I look at least half decent, rather than contorting my face to make me look like lip injection nightmare.

What’s wrong with smiling? Or just a neutral face? Why would you get all dressed up for a night out, and ruin it with the duck face? I’m shaking my head as I write this (or as we say on Instagram #smh).  Not that a duck face is unmannerly, or improper, it’s just ridiculous all around!  

I beg you, on behalf of all the fathers out there with little girls, let's make this trend stop before our girls are teenagers.  

Tip #2: The Zombie Selfie

A zombie selfie is when someone stares blankly into the camera with their eyes wide open and tongue hanging out, as if stuck in a trance and unable to control the muscles in their face (aka, like a zombie). 

Sadly, the people who take these pictures can control their face, they just choose not to. Similar to the duck face, the zombie selfie has somehow become synonymous with "cool" and there's no rhyme or reason as to why people want to post photos of themselves looking like the Crypt Keeper.