The 10 Commandments For Selfies

Rula Al-Nasrawi is a Columbia Graduate whose writing has appeared in ViceThe Atlantic, and other online publications. Her first language is valley girl. Californian bred, NYC residing. @RulaOfTheWorld.


I know, I know. Everyone has already written about selfies. But it’s not my problem that even though this topic is borderline old news you all still don’t seem to have the guidelines down. There are plenty of pros and cons to being a master of photographing yourself. Here are some basic commandments for taking selfies. Break one of these rules and the Instagram gods will probably smite you.

Thou Shalt Post A Bathroom Selfie Only Once…Maybe Twice
Do it just once. I know it’s tempting to do all the time because the lighting makes you look so damn sexy, but the shower curtain and/or tile is a dead giveaway and eventually the world will start to wonder if you are legit living in your bathroom. Just admit that you’re being a little ridiculous and get the toilet in the background. Please, I beg of you, just do it and get it over with so we can all laugh together and move on.

Thou Shalt Not Post Selfies In Excess
If every single photo on your Instagram is of yourself, then I’m sorry but you really need to get out of the house. Quit staring at yourself and be productive. Did you put all of that makeup on just to take a selfie? It doesn’t matter if the angles are different, it’s still your stupid face being reposted every single day. This isn’t 50 First Dates, no one is going to forget what you look like if you take a short selfie hiatus. We need a few days off to recover from your beauty anyway.

Thou Shalt Cease All Mirror Pics
For the love of god, make it stop. Myspace is over y’all. Seeing that idiotic flash in the mirror makes you look like you’re posing with a ghost Sixth Sense style, it haunts me and makes me angry. Also stop lifting up your shirt to show us what’s underneath. I feel like I’m being violated. I’m glad you did three crunches today but seriously no one actually gives a shit. Put the shirt down and walk away. Ok, that’s better.

Remember The Good Hair Day To Keep It Holy
Even though I seem to only make fun of selfies, on a good hair day you know I’ll be reaching for my iPhone. On a standard morning, my hair will usually sit like a powdered colonial wig, which is totally fine if you’re reenacting the Boston Tea Party or something, but if you’re a girl living in New York in 2014 you mostly just look like an idiot. So when for once I don’t look like George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, there’s no harm in wanting to share that with the world. No shame.

Honor Thy Filters
If you’re going to commit to the selfie and you want a filter, there is one in particular that you should literally never even consider unless you are desperately trying to metamorphose into an Oompa Loompa. That filter is called Kelvin. If you’re trying to never get laid again, then by all means use this filter, otherwise please go back to using X-Pro like the rest of us. Friends don’t let friends use Kelvin. And I’m your friend. So please, do not.

Thou Shalt End All Duck Lips
How many times do you guys want to be mocked for making duck lips? How many memes need to be made? Let me sound this out for you. Duck. Lips. Do you want a duck face? Probably not. Are you kind of stupid for making fun of duck face, but also continuing to do it in your bathroom mirror. Yes, I’m starting to think so.

Thou Shalt Not Take Anymore Morning Selfies
Please stop abusing this you guys. We understand that every day the sun rises and it’s morning. But why do you have to post a morning pic to remind us every single day? I’m sure you’re thinking you’re about to get lots of Likes on that one picture of you peeking out from underneath your comforter. But in reality, even if you “woke up like this” a la Queen Bey, no one is turned on by your bed head; we’re all too busy gagging at your eye crust.

Thou Shalt Have A Sense Of Humor
If you can’t admit that selfies are actually pretty goofy, then you have no business taking one. I really admire people who can proudly take a selfie at the bus stop, on a roller coaster, or in the tattoo chair, kudos to all of you. If all you’re doing is the duck lips face in your room, go back up to Commandment #6 and kindly rot there.

Thou Shalt Not Include Their Stupid Arm In The Selfie
What are you doing? Get your goddam arm out of the way. Isn’t the whole point of this picture to see your beautiful face? No one wants to see how long your arm is. We are not impressed that your arm is 5 feet long, in fact it’s a little worrisome. I don’t care if you’re arms are “too long” haven’t you heard of a self-timer app you octopus?

Thou Shalt Not Crop Out Friends At Their Own Expense
Besides the fact that this is probably bad karma, it’s also so heinously obvious. What is wrong with including your friend in the photo? Is your friend a leper? Are they missing their front tooth? Did they say “Hey girl! You should crop my ugly ass out and make this a selfie!” If none of these things apply, then you should probably look in the mirror and reevaluate yourself. Oh yeah, and then take a quick selfie.

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