A new selfie trend has taken off among Generation Z in 2022. Featuring huge foreheads, super long arms, and tiny bodies: meet the 0.5 selfie.
Pronounced as a “point five” selfie, the photo trend has become a mainstay among Generation Z social media feeds over the past few months, according to a recent piece published by The New York Times
This unconventional style of visual documentation has been popularized by millennial icons like Olivia Rodrigo and Mia Regan. The aesthetic of the 0.5 selfie is easy to spot. The telltale signs are that the photo commonly looks like an ultra-wide portrait of its subjects with the photographer’s extra-long arm appearing in the frame — if it’s a true selfie.
The distorted and out-of-scale effect is the result of the ultra-wide lens — which, starting with the iPhone 12 Pro, is now included in every new iPhone model. The trend’s name comes from the fact that to access the ultra-wide lens camera, iPhone users must click “0.5” to change their camera lens. The 0.5x lens widens the photographic frame creating a nearly fisheye lens effect.
To take an 0.5x selfie, users zoom out using two fingers on the camera app or tap the button that says “0.5.” at the bottom of your screen above “PHOTO” to access the ultra-wide camera setting. Once the ultra-wide lens setting is turned on, users hover the pointer finger over the white circle at the bottom of the screen and turn their camera around. They hold their phone above them before tapping the camera button or pressing the volume buttons to take the photo.
0.5 selfies came into being when the 0.5x lens debuted on the iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S10 in 2019. However, the style has only started gaining traction this year. Screenshot Media reports that the broad appeal for 0.5 selfies among Generation Z in 2022 can be traced back to the distorted selfie effect of popular YouTubers and TikTokers filming videos with an Insta360 camera or GoPro in their mouth. TikTok trainspotter Francis Bourgeois, who boasts 2.6 million followers on the platform, has become a star with his viral videos recorded on a GoPro with a fish-eye lens angled awkwardly towards his face.
Wider shots also make capturing head-to-toe outfits solo far easier. Posing experts on TikTok have even posted advice for capturing unique photos with the 0.5 lens that focus on details like the subject’s nails, shoes, or makeup depending on the angle with which it is taken.
The popularity of the 0.5 selfie can also be linked to the many trends that have seen Generation Z rebelling again the highly-edited, picture-perfect aesthetic seen by influencers, like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner on Instagram in the last decade.
For many millennials, the 0.5 selfie is not as flawless as the traditional self-portrait on social media. Since this type of selfie can only be taken on the back camera of an Iphone, users can not see what they look like until after the phone has been taken which makes these photos feel super-candid. Given the rising popularity of casual photo dumps on Instagram and apps like BeReal that ban editing and filters, the 0.5 selfie has a similar authenticity to it.
Image credits: Header photo by Zoe Nazarian/@zoenazarian.