With the first papal ‘selfie’ going viral earlier this year, Pope Francis has upped the  ante, and camera selfies  will never be the same. Not only is the word in the dictionary now, selfies are  getting some help from a likely place: Japan.

Yes, leave it to the Japanese and their zest for inventiveness. Once again,  they’ve taken the ubiquitous cellphone camera craze with its massive online inventory of “selfies” shot by people holding the camera phone too close to their faces and taken the concept one step further — into some ”outer” space. Not that outer space, but the outer space that a  longer camera arm or extension can give to the entire selfies experience.

As you know, and as the Pope knows now, if you shoot a selfie with the camera too close to your face (and nose and eyebrows and forehead and cheeks and lips and chin), the resulting selfie can be positively damning and even surreal.

But with some new sleek cameras made in Japan, which come equipped with arm extensions which allow you to
shoot from further away than ever before — and with a second, longer extension in the works– shooting an individual selfie or a twosome selfie will be a much better viewing experience. Hai!

“If you still haven’t mastered the subtle art of holding your smartphone up at that exact angle so that your good side gets photographed while you blindly click the selfie hoping you are actually in it, then you will love [our new] digital camera, a 12-megapixel digital camera featuring a one-of-a-kind swivel function for perfectly-framed self-portraits every time,” says a PR blurb.

“The camera boasts a flip-out design with a display and frame rotatable by up to 270-degrees and 360-degrees respectively, allowing for any number of flattering shooting angles.” the blurb goes on.

What what really makes the new cameras revolutionary is that by allowing users to extend the reach of your arm via a built-in extension to the camera itself, you can now shoot selfies that will result in better and more realistic snapshots, without the surrealistic-looking big bulb nose or big bulb lips or bulging eyebrows or chin. And with even longer extensions in the works, all built-in to camera and future camera cell phones, selfies will never look the same and the world will likely be a better place for it. The Vatican, too.

So goodbye, ugly, raw, surreal ”selfies”. And welcome to the new world of self-extended selfies, with long-awaited extensions to give your face — and the faces of your friends — a much better profile and face shot. The papacy will never be the same.

Photo credit: AP


  1. In a piece titlde “Taking Our Selfies Seriously”
    Daniel Menaker wrote:

    Many “selfies” look like their subjects are singing an aria or welcoming a guest or hailing a cab, because of the necessarily outstretched arm that precedes the hand that precedes the finger that clicks the picture, often after a previous, poorly aimed picture of one’s feet or something more embarrassing. Delete.

    I don’t know. It seems like an embarrassing word to me, on the baby-talk side of talk, and destined for the etymological trash basket that is already brimming with “jeggings,” “man cave,” “chillax,” “locovore,” etc. Actually, it’s “locavore,” for someone who diligently eats local produce, most often kale, but here now I give you “locovore,” for a person who is completely obsessed with being a “locavore.”

    But let’s say “selfie” is here to stay, and think of the more elaborate neologisms it might spawn. Maybe “selfie-regard,” for the attitude of someone who has a high opinion of his own selfies. “Selfie-abuse,” for someone who takes and posts too many selfies. “Selfie-ish,” for someone who will look only at his own selfies. “Me, myselfie and I” — not sure how it would be used but it was hard to resist. “To thine own selfie be true,” meaning “don’t say the selfie is of someone else just because it’s so ugly.”

    O.K., now, let’s be serious about ourselfies. Ourselvesies? (It’s going to be hard, evidently. In fact, I just gave up.) There is something perfect about the choice, despite how lame it is, for what better word to select for an era of such widespread social-media self-promotion? (And by the way, “social media” is at least halfway to oxymoronhood.)

    Soon enough “selfies” will be history and we’ll be on to something more absurd. In fact, it must already be happening: People asking other people to take pictures of them taking pictures of themselves and posting the Möbius-like result as — what? I’m sure there will be a word for it tomorrow.

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