According to Gen Z, We're Taking Selfies All Wrong. Here's How the ‘0.5 Selfie’ Can Upgrade Your Instagram Game

Recently I learned that there’s a new way to take selfies, according to Gen Z: the 0.5 Selfie (pronounced “point five,” not “half,” or “zero point five,” by the way).

My much cooler co-worker sent the TikTok above, showing the 0.5 selfie in action. Basically, the 0.5 selfie is a wide-lens photo of yourself that's meant to look more casual than selfies of yore. My first thought was that it reminded me of the way millennials used to take selfies with their point-and-shoot cameras, before iPhones and frontward-facing cameras were a thing. (Also, wow, someone give me my AARP card now.)

Anyway, millennials may be comforted by the familiarity of the above-your-head angles this selfie requires, but instead of a DSLR, you’re using your smart phone—and skipping the front camera. The 0.5 selfie is meant to be taken using the multiple back cameras on your phone.

Why is the 0.5 selfie taken using the back cameras, you ask? To eliminate our human impulse to prep and pose before each shot. Because you can’t watch yourself take the photo, you don’t really know how it’s going to turn out, which I’m told adds an element of surprise and makes your photo look less staged.

How to Take a 0.5 Selfie

Step 1: Go to the camera on your phone and set the angle to ultra-wide or 0.5x (hence, the name). You can also pinch your fingers in on the screen the way you would to zoom into a photo to access this setting.

Step 2: Turn your phone around, hold out your arm as far as it goes and snap your photo. The further out your arm is, the more background you’ll get in your photo, which is encouraged for capturing this aesthetic.  

OK, now here’s a practical tip from my best friend that has nothing to do trends: When it comes to getting “the shot,” it’s a numbers game. If you take a ton of photos, you’re bound to find a few you like.

Plan your next IG story accordingly.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...