Here to talk you through the benefits and beauty of the humble mirror selfie is Ben Pechey. Turns our there’s more to mirror selfies than meets the eye…
The mirror selfie seems to be ruling on an all-time high at the moment. Just one swipe of Instagram is enough to show you dozens of inviting reflections of people you somehow know on the internet showing off their outfits, pets, makeup, workouts and interiors. Culture is taking an inward look, and the mirror selfie shows us what we want to see the most – authenticity – and, well, mainly ourselves!
From regular #ootd mirror selfies to using a mirror to create sizzling nude selfies or even capturing an erotic selfie with your partner(s), there is no end to the possibilities your phone and a trusty mirror can provide you.
Mirror Selfies: Why Though?
If you think that mirror selfies are a relatively new thing, think again. The first mirror selfie can be traced back to Russian Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna. The Duchess used her Kodak Brownie – very much the iPhone of 1913 – to take a snapshot of her day. If only she could have put the black and white image on the group chat to get feedback before sending it on to her latest beau. Sadly for Anastasia, she would have to wait another century for these advances.
So how has the humble mirror selfie stayed such a cultural icon all these years?
Well, a lot of that may lie in the fact that humans crave tangibility. Placing oneself in the frame of an image, creates a lasting reference of who we are, or who we were at a particular point in time. If you look beyond the supposed self-obsession that mirror selfies are often associated with you can see a gem of healthy, mindful self-love and a creative kind of introspection. In a mirror selfie we can connect with who we are without being guarded or bending to fit in with perceived social norms. Just like Duchess Nikolaevna we are creating a lasting legacy that proves we exist!
It goes without saying that alongside the confidence-boosting authenticity that mirror selfies can provide, they also have a big role to play in creating healthy relationships in a modern world. The mirror selfie is great for a long-distance sexting session, whether you’re separated from your beau(s) for a year or a day. Nothing says authentic horny on main vibes like a well lit nude selfie in the mirror. Get creative, and send a reminder of all the things that make your time together oh so exciting…
But before we get too carried away, let’s delve deeper into the positive, affirming side of the mirror selfie.
Body Positivity & The Mirror Selfie
Once deemed the height of self-indulgent vapid behaviour propelled to media infamy by the Kardashians, the humble genre of the selfie has lifted itself to become a defining archive of a generation. The mirror selfie, is a true celebration, offering the subject a sense of self-appreciation the world may not always offer. It provides a kind and gentle view of our bodies, and the skin we exist in.
The more we see our body the more we can become comfortable with that view. We can begin to nurture the caring and loving relationship we can and all deserve to have with ourselves. Okay, so it may not be as thorough as a therapy session, but it is a great place to start!
Tips For Taking A Great Mirror Selfie
So now we can see the importance of the mirror selfie, we need to know how to capture our best bits! A great mirror selfie is easy to achieve and like all things in life, it gets even better with practice. Follow our tips below and bask in your reflective glory.
The mirror you use is obviously a vital element in achieving the best mirror selfies. Full-length mirrors will always be the superior choice, offering you your full sweep in all its glory, with no need to crouch and bend yourself to get the right angle. A full-length mirror will always be our friend!
Wash and Brush Up
Seriously, nothing kills the vibe like a stained mirror. Dust, makeup, toothpaste, you name it. A smear of any one of those is going to extinguish the flames your best erotic mirror selfie can produce, no matter how sensational the pose or seductive the lighting. Grab the glass cleaner and make haste with the cloth!
The Baby Giraffe
One of the best tips on selfie photography we have ever seen came from Eva Chen, author and director of fashion partnerships at Instagram. She christened this simple move; the baby giraffe.
Place one leg behind the other, tilting one forward, and then stick your bum out behind you. It’s not as complicated as it sounds and you will have seen it everywhere without even realising it! This pose never fails to make you look taller, more poised and your absolute best version of yourself.
Change it up!
There is no need to always stand! Grab a chair and pose like you’re Madonna in 1991. There are myriad other options out there that beat a plain and simple mirror selfie. Whether it’s working with props, costume, or placement (off-centre, over the shoulder, from a distance or close-up) let your imagination run wild and see what new effects you can create with simple and easy shifts. Get creative!
Want To Go Nude? Try Phone Seduction
We don’t need to give up all the goodies at once. If you’re playing with taking nudes, why not try the art of phone seduction? Utilising the phone in your hand, you can cover any part of your body you wish. Sometimes less is more, and this will get your partner(s) in the mood quicker than you can say mirror selfie!
Let your best bits shine
Talking of nudes, if you want your mirror selfies to have the ultimate impact then you might want to make the most of your assets. As the saying goes – if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Flaunting hydrated skin will always land well, so consider a touch of moisturiser or even body oil to allow your goodies to shine.
Don’t forget lighting
We all know the importance good lighting plays in a great image. Well, when it comes to the mirror selfie, make like Mariah Carey and never stand under direct vertical light – the harshness of this lighting will create uncontrollable shadows and highlights. Side lit, face on, and light from below will add an arty flair to your masterpiece, and allow your beauty to glow.
Remember phone safety when taking and sharing nudes. Consider not including your face for newer connections, and to avoid the potential for images causing harm in the future. Consider as well the lifetime of your nude. WhatsApp has just introduced a feature that allows you to send self-destructing photos – similar to Snapchat but who uses that anymore?! Your recipient can only view it once, although it doesn’t stop screenshots but it is another layer of protection. For the ultimate safe sexting experience, sign up to the KK Chat App, which has disappearing photos/video and screenshot alert functions, as well as a block and report button. Always seek consent before sending nudes to anyone, and if sending nudes is not something you feel comfortable doing, then you don’t have to do it. As with any sexual scenario, it’s important to remember that it’s your body and your choice whether to share yourself in that way or not.
Revenge porn, or someone sharing intimate photos and video of you without your consent, is a crime. If this has happened to you, it is not your fault and you are not alone. Visit Not Your Porn for support and advice.
Get Creative With Your Mirror Selfies
Now you have mastered the art of the standard mirror selfie, it’s time to let your inner artist go to town. The mirror selfie can be so much more than a casual snapshot of your day, or a visual booty call. There have been some incredible artists who explored identities and their stance on the world with a selfie.
We have talked about going nude, but if you have never explored the sensual world of the nude, then this may be the time to do it. These photos don’t need to go anywhere but your phone – at first – so you can get to know your body, and explore all of its charms and sweet spots.
Maybe you’re a modern-day Botticelli figure, but you have never taken the time to embrace that. Now is the time! Simply exploring your body in front of the mirror can be a confidence-boosting exercise. Make it a fun and sexy self-love experience with music, fragrance, your favourite lotions. See how it makes you feel, and whether you come away with a new perspective on that beautiful bod you’ve got.
Explore personas with Claude Cahun
Cahun was an artist in the ‘20s and ‘30s. They explored the concept of sexuality, gender and politics. Their self-portraits always subverted the viewer’s point of view when it came to gender. You don’t need to go as deep as Cahun, but you can take this opportunity to explore who you want to be, or could be through the medium of the mirror selfie. Explore hair, makeup, clothing and take a deep dive into what it means to be you.
Art Begets Art
Have a favourite mirror selfie or erotic selfie? Well, immortalise it by taking out your easel, or iPad – it’s up to you – and have a reflective life drawing session. Recreating your selfie will boost your confidence and give you something spicier to put on that gallery wall you’ve been curating!
So there you have it, whether you are a nude selfie novice or a mirror selfie icon, your mirror will always be there to help you capture the mood and the moment. So go forth and document your self-love journey with the powerful tool that is the mirror selfie!
Ben (they/them) is a writer, speaker, content creator, LGBTQIA advocate, and soon to be author! They have worked with major brands such as Amazon Prime, Oliver Bonas, Matalan and many more. They uplift and educate through media; with their website benpechey.com, The Happy Place podcast, and legendary Instagram Stories. They have had words in print and online for Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, The Guardian and many more.