Upgrade Your Next Instagram Photo Dump With The Newest Selfie Trend

A new selfie trend has taken off among the younger generations. Coined the "point five selfie" — or the ".5 selfie" — this new trend features big foreheads, bug eyes, and angular limbs. Although off-putting at first, this contorted selfie is a favorite among the casual Instagram crowd. If you find yourself struck by deja vu upon seeing your first .5 selfie, you're not alone. This new photo trend features an ultra zoomed-out photo of the subject taken with the back–facing phone camera. And it's giving a definite throwback to the era of a digital camera selfie that dominated the early-to-mid 2000s. This shift comes on the heels of a larger movement created by this eco-conscious generation to reduce their consumption of fast fashion and push back against rampant consumerism.

Research from Ogilvy surrounding Gen Z and social media use shows that Gen Z is the group pushing back against the overly polished influencer aesthetic the hardest. Rather than indulge in the frivolous and often wasteful lifestyles that mega–influencers pushed in the early aughts, the rise of casual Instagram and the .5 selfie trend looks to showcase individual expression over conformity. "I find it a more inspiring way to post," digital influencer Tara Marzuki told Stylist. "There was always something about a glossy feed that has never sat right with me. Casual Instagram is attainable and exciting for anyone who is enthusiastic about posting, and you can create it at home." Now, we're here to help you achieve this level of calm, cool, and collected.

What is the .5 selfie trend?

The .5 selfie trend gets its name from the 0.5x camera mode the photo is taken with, which results in a retro ultra-wide angle shot. The .5 selfie trend famously leaves behind the glossy and over-filtered Instagram aesthetic that has dominated pop culture for years. "It's an understandable shift given the nature of the social media landscape; on the one hand users are moving away from homogenous, overly curated content towards something more raw," Not Studio creative director Mark Bage told Mashable.

Long gone are the days of the perfectly curated IG feed with more FaceTune and filters than you could count. Now, the most famous up-and-coming stars and influencers are more likely to post blurry weekend photo dumps and curated slice-of-life photo sets. "Instagram started out as a personal app, so the idea of a casual Instagram is nice because it isn't curated," therapist and social media expert Lexi Joondeph-Breidbart told HerCampus. "It isn't meant for entertainment or meant to sell the user a product or lifestyle. A casual Instagram shares moments from someone's life that they want friends and family to be a part of."

Why Gen Z loves the .5 selfie trend

Recently, there's been a shift in how the youngest generation defines aspirational, and, in turn, the generation's taste in aesthetics and influencers has shifted as well. Experts have confirmed what they long suspected: the constant barrage of photoshopped images and face-altering beauty filters have a lasting impact on our collective self–esteem. "We were constantly fed pictures of people (looking) their best," neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez told The Editorialist. "This can lead to extremely problematic repercussions such as an unhealthy relationship with food, negative self-image, and low self-esteem."

The new era of social media sharing is a movement against the curated ideal and a step back in the direction of being more genuine with what you share. In fact, many are finding the absurdity of the trend and the entire casual Instagram movement as a whole very liberating. "I hated how I used to care about keeping a theme or how people perceived me," film student Sannah Kim tells Input. "Posting what I want takes stress and pressure out of posting on social media."

How to take the perfect .5 selfie

What makes this trend so popular is how easy it is to achieve a nostalgic effect without having to dig out your old Nikon ultra-wide-angle lens. To take your very own 5. selfie, you'll want to ensure the smartphone you're using has an ultra-wide camera lens. Then, you'll open your camera app and toggle through the lens options until you land on 0.5x mode. You can also use your thumb and index finger to pinch your phone screen and zoom your view out to the ultra-wide setting. Next, get everyone in frame and ensure that your camera mode is set to take a front-facing photo. And finally, flip your camera around so that you and your friends are looking up at the back–facing camera (via PetaPixel).

The key to achieving a true .5 selfie angle is ensuring the photographer's arm appears in the frame, giving your photo the coveted MySpace selfie effect. So, you'll have to stretch your arms as far out and up as possible to fit everyone in the shot. Snap several shots to ensure you get just the right angle, and don't be afraid to use your camera flash to help give you the Y2K digital camera selfie effect of your dreams. Then, all that's left to do is finish your photo with whatever filter fits the mood, and you're ready to add this pic to your next photo–dump or BeReal update.