How to Take Great Selfies in 5 Easy, Teenager-Approved Steps

This is not today’s post, which I told you yesterday I would write. Today’s post is probably going to be tomorrow’s post. Or Friday’s post. Or whatever. I’ve been up with pukers for 5 nights in a row – SIX days of pukers with no end in sight, and I don’t even know what day it is anymore, man.

Instead, we’re going to do a Selfie Tutorial today because I have access to a thousand teenagers and those people know how selfies work. They invented the artform, after all. And then they perfected it, one awesome picture at a time. So if you’re a grown-up and you’ve been longing to know how to take better selfies, this is the post for you.


My experiment with selfies began on Halloween night when my friend, Mindy, and I took this adorable pic, trying our hardest to mimic the wide eyes and open mouths we’ve seen from our teenaged friends.

Next, in the name of good science and even better art, I uploaded it to Facebook where I solicited advice from the teenage experts, especially our daughters and my cousin.

“How did we do?” I asked them, and “What do we need to improve?”

And their advice poured in. Such is the power of social media.

“Less forehead,” said one.

“More smiley,” said another. And “bigger mouth.” And “HUGE eyes.”

Myriad tips in seconds.

So I decided that today, after I’ve been awake for forty hundred consecutive hours with my sweet vomiters… a day when my hairstyle can most optimistically be described as Hopefully Vomit-Free… this is the day I could really use a good picture of myself. Restore some self-esteem. Feel pretty for a few minutes, you know?

And because I care about you, too, I decided to compile all the tips so we can benefit from our teens’ wisdom together. ‘Cause you know what the world needs? More selfies. Obvs.

So, without further ado, I present to you :

5 Easy Steps to GREAT Selfies
with helpful illustrations

Step 1: Minimize the Forehead


OK. Forehead cropped. Check.


Step 2: HUGE Eyes


Huge eyes? Got it. Check.


Step 3: Bigger Mouth


Bigger mouth? One of my specialties. Check.


Step 4: More Smiley


Happier. More smiley. Mm hm. Check.


And Step 5, courtesy of my 13-year-old cousin, Try to Look Less Like a Zombie.

And I…


Well, that’s…


I’m not sure…


Yeah, that one’s lost on me.

I tried. I really did. But looking less like a zombie is, unfortunately, something I cannot do. I’ve been a Mombie for 15 years now, and I’m afraid this is as good as it gets.

photo (82)

Which, quite honestly, is perfectly fine. And more than enough. And just right.


So, Mombies… and Dads… and People Who Are Human,
what selfie tips would you add?
And how’s flu season treating you? Because SHEESH.



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8 responses to “How to Take Great Selfies in 5 Easy, Teenager-Approved Steps”

  1. Today I walked into the 4 year old classroom and one student said, “Yo vomite!” which means “I vomited” in Spanish. (I am a preschool English teacher at a bilingual school in the Dominican Republic.) I said, “Hoy?!” (“Today?!”) and he said, “Yes. And Romar vomited too.” Then Romar said, “And Amy! Amy vomited right on the table.” I kept repeating, “Hoy?!” like I couldn’t believe that they had just vomited today and seemed so excited to tell me about it.

    Then Ahias (the first one to admit to vomiting) said, “You are pretty,” which was very nice of him because we painted today and so I had blue paint EVERYONE. All over my clothes and arms and hands and fingernails and students.

    That’s all I have to add to this conversation.

  2. What a hilarious post!!!

    Except for the vomit part. When the Stomach Bug invades my house, with my 6 kids, I used to be in Real Trouble. The thing about stomach bugs is that the way that your body eliminates the germs (ie the immune response) is _entirely_mechanical_; the learning curve is not visible because once the body re-encounters the same germ, it goes “Ah-ha! I have to violently eject this sucker!” thus resulting in more action out one end, the other, or both. In other words, the same germ can run through the family an unlimited number of times.

    I have had great success with my new Take No Prisoners attitude towards the stomach bug; the last few times it has come home, _not_everyone_caught_it_, and those who did, only got it once. Score!

    The Take No Prisoners Method, by Emily:

    *Anyone who has the bug has their toothbrush thrown away, and does not get a new one until they have passed the BRAT Diet phase (see below). Tooth brushing occurs with fingers, tissues, whatever disposable item is on-hand.

    *People who are throwing up get NO FOOD, just water, tea or clear broth, until a full 24 hours after the last incident of vomitus. At this point, they can start the BRAT Diet (see below).

    *People with diarrhea must be on the BRAT Diet for the duration of incidents, through 48 hours after the last one, or until they poop solid, whichever comes first.

    *BRAT Diet consists of:
    B: Bananas, clear Broth
    R: plain white Rice (no butter!)
    A: unsweetened Applesauce
    T: unsweetened clear Tea, dry Toast

    *Every item in the house gets washed, in hot, if it may have come into contact with nasty bodily fluids. Anything that is fabric goes into the laundry; anything not fabric goes into the dishwasher. Anything that does not survive the sterilization process gets mercilessly thrown away.

    *All household members wash their hands in water as warm as they can tolerate, up to their elbows, on a very frequent basis. Such as: after coming into contact with bodily fluids or any part of a sick person; after using the restroom (even if not sick yet); before eating; before sucking thumb/finger (I got kid #4 to quit sucking her fingers this way…); before playing the piano; and whenever I call out that everyone needs to wash their hands/arms.

    *Every surface that gets touched by people gets sterilized. This means the computer keyboard, the phones, the doorknobs, the stair railing, etc. I actually hook my spray bottle in my belt, keep a roll of paper towels tucked under my arm, and do and redo these surfaces constantly so long as anyone sick is still awake. Like every half hour. Seriously.

    *The only people allowed to put away clean dishes, or even enter the kitchen at all, are those who are 100% healthy. If everyone is sick? Bust out the paper plates, and let Mom do the minimal amount of kitchen work!

    It sounds like a lot, and once lots of people are sick, it really is a huge to-do list, BUT if you do it right away, when the first person gets sick, then you can prevent the rest from getting ill.

    The last time we had it, the top-bunk kid in one room got sick; she was unable to get out of bed fast enough and hurled over the entire room from the top of the ladder. We are talking about splatter in an 8-ft radius (which would have been bigger had the room actually been bigger), up the walls, over the bed, in the radiator. 1 am, I went to work and cleaned the whole thing. And do you know what? Her roommate in the _bottom_bunk_ never got The Yuck!!! That was a parenting WIN. Unfortunately, my husband did not wash up to his elbows after her 7th vomit incident that night (#2 through 8 all happened in the bathroom), and ended up catching it himself, and it is basically impossible for people who share a bed to not pass it along. So I got it, too. As did the toddler. But the toddler’s 2 roommates also stayed healthy! (And I hadn’t had #6 yet, although I was expecting him at that point, so that accounts for everybody.)

    We once had the stomach yuck over Christmas, traveling to my parents’ house. We got new toothbrushes, cleaned everything, got rid of the yuck. 4 months later, we went someplace for spring break, and by day 3, half of the house had come down with it, despite not having been exposed to it at school or anywhere else. The culprit? The travel toothbrush holders! I threw them out, and now people get fresh ziplock baggies to travel with, so that we cannot do that to ourselves ever, ever again. What a way to ruin a vacation!!! (Certain bacteria, including the ones that make the stomach yuck, can go dormant if the right drying-out conditions apply, and can be revived by being moistened months, if not years, later. This is not uncommon in the bacteria world; think of anthrax, which can persist dormant in the soil for over 50 years.)

    I use all non-toxic cleaners, which all contain tea tree oil, and some also have a variety of other items, such as thyme oil, lemon oil, etc. I go through a lot of the laundry products and the disinfecting product when we have the stomach yuck… If I used chlorine bleach (which is very bad for us people, even though it is also is very effective at killing the yuck) or any of the other harsh toxic cleaning agents available, I would have a horrific migraine long before I successfully killed all of the germs.

    I hope you have success in ridding your house of The Stomach Yuck!!!

  3. I can’t believe Mindy let you put a pic of her up on your blog. Hahaha. I am laughing so hard. Let me calm down and actually read the post. xo

  4. What? No duck lips? Must be an east coast thing.

    I’m sorry about your vomit situation. I’m with Liz-I get nauseous just thinking about it. Hope it all gets better soon and you can shower and sleep.

  5. I’m very grateful for the selfie tips. But I’ve still not mastered which way round the phone goes and how to actually execute the taking of the selfie, so I don’t think the world is going to benefit from my contribution any time soon.

  6. I almost couldn’t read this post because of vomit and stuff, but I’m glad I did. Love the selfie lesson. But shouldn’t you be doing these in a bathroom mirror or at a coffee shop or something?

  7. Vomit. It is such a descriptive word, isn’t it? Very onomatopoetic. So much more dignified than barf or puke or upchuck. I’m feeling nauseous right now just saying it. (You’re welcome for the philosophical reflection.)

    Hey you know what I just noticed? You have very beautiful eyebrows. Really really pretty. I don’t think I wouldn’t have noticed without the cropped forehead, super big eyes, open mouth and zombie-avoidance-expressions. Awesome eyebrows for the win! (Wait, was I supposed to abbreviate that? Capitalize it? Crap, I realize I have no idea how this internets thing actually works. Shuffling off to do the walk of shame, feeling guilty (but not too guilty) that I have no vomit to clean up. Just a toddler with a rash that is spreading who will not sleep. Infant Tylenol FTW! (Was that better?))

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