Facebook: How to Put Your Best Face Forward

One expert shares his strategies for looking slimmer and prettier in profile photos

Back in March, University of Buffalo researchers tried to tell us that posting hundreds of Facebook photos of yourself is a sign of insecurity. I thought that was hilarious until a press release for "world-renowned facial plastic surgeon and professor at Boston University School of Medicine" Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel landed in my inbox yesterday, offering his top “put your best face forward” tips for photographing well.

Included on the list: 

*Women: Look up towards the camera and raise your eyebrows to create an attractive look of larger eyes.

*For men and women, slightly lean your neck towards the camera.

*For Women: A minute before your photo, tap on your lips a few times (somewhat stronger than you'd think!).  This will send blood to your lips making them look redder and fuller, both considered very attractive.  Similarly, you can pinch your cheeks a few times to get a little bit of a rosy glow.

*Blink just before the camera goes off.  That is, if they are counting to three to shoot, blink deliberately on two.  This will help guarantee that your eyes are not closed during the picture, and importantly, will get you with the most open and bright eyes -- and remember, bright eyes are critical to looking good.

*Be relaxed.  Think about relaxing your face and trying to convey that to the camera.  And, consider botulinum toxin treatment (e.g. Botox  or Dysport).  They've been shown to not only relax wrinkles, but to actually improve your mood and help you to feel more relaxed and confident.  That emotional change will show in your photos.

Everybody got that? I hope you were taking notes. What with all that tapping, pinching, blinking, counting and Botox injecting, taking good pictures sounds super hard.

I get wanting to look good in photos. And I have definitely been known to untag myself in pictures where I look especially triple-chinned or droopy-eyed. That's just not cute. So these tips will surely come in handy if you're sitting for a professional headshot or aiming to get your engagement photo in the New York Times.

But when I think about how often women cringe when cameras are brought out in even the most casual of circumstances, it seems that tips like these are only going to excacerbate the problem. If you're too busy posing yourself for a picture to actually enjoy whatever it is that inspired the picture-taking, you've lost the plot a bit. And being told that we have to think this hard about our eyebrows and our necks is just going to add to that paranoia, not ease it.

Because how anybody could "be relaxed" after following all those tips is beyond me. Oh wait, that's why you get the Botox.


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