The South Beach Guide to Selfies and Step and Repeat Posing

March 13, 2014 | by betsy f. perry | Talk of the Town

Everyone has an angle. And sometimes when the spotlight’s on, we’ll do anything to find it.

Miami guide to selfies

It seems everyone in Miami has an angle and works it whenever a camera is within range, which these days is pretty much 24/7. Whether it’s chin up or down, legs crossed, cheeks sucked in, or lips in a trout pout, in this Instagram world, a good picture is apparently worth a thousand words and just as many hours of rehearsal time in front of a mirror.

Though some label us narcissists, and there’s definitely some truth to this, socialites, reality television stars, and social media samurais have become role models—hopefully you weren’t thinking Sheryl Sandberg or Hillary Clinton—for Miami’s next gen eager to learn how best to look picture perfect for its close-up. But while we’ve studied Kim K’s online tutorial for taking the perfect selfie and tried “squinching” our eyes to ooze confidence—which actually can make you look angry or constipated—is there more we can do when the red carpet comes calling?

After years of endless A-list late nights, the omnipresent Seth Browarnik, founder of Miami’s celebrity photography agency World Red Eye, has seen it all from behind the lens. “Don’t try to be a Kim K, because we make fun of that kind of person. We want the girl with an aura who is jumping up and down exuding energy and not making a duck face.”

But Real Housewife of Miami Marysol Patton claims she does mimic celebrities because “social media has made everyone more self-conscious, so I’ve been learning as I go along and I observe what other people do,” and she suggests, “Cross your legs, start with the body sideways, turn your shoulders more toward the camera, and toss your head back.” Anyway, who better to learn from than someone who does it for a living? By the way, there’s nothing on the planet more important than this, so please take note.

But while remembering to flip your hair, put one hand on your hip with the arm away from the body to avoid bat wings, and your elbow pointed downward to look seductive and skinny (of course, the fellas can flash the sideways peace sign), body language expert Patti Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language & Charisma, says, “Since we’re giving out a thousand cues in a photo, it’s important to think happy thoughts, and if your emotions are true, there’s a higher chance of the photo coming across.”

Would I be happier if my eyes were bigger and spaced farther apart, my upper lip fuller, and my hair like Secretariat’s mane? Of course, but that’s for when I come back as Angelina or Gisele. But after too many pictures I quickly delete, it seems I look best when not focused on myself or worrying about how others view me. And that’s the issue; we’ve become victims of a selfie-centric social media world where the only relationship that counts is the one with an iPhone or a camera lens, or Instagram following! What really should matter is your relationship with close friends and family…. like in Kim Kardashian’s case, all 12 million of them.

ILLUSTRATION BY PAUL DICKINSON

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