You could be forgiven for thinking that selfies are all about self-promotion and narcissism but it goes deeper than that. Selfies are redefining how we see ourselves and how we see beauty.

A selfie is the ultimate in self-expression, a modern-day self-portrait if you like. It shows who you really are, or who you want to be. It can be covered in filters or it can be natural and real. We’ve discussed it before but we simply don’t trust the airbrushed, photoshopped celebrity pictures as a sign of real beauty.

This should be really positive. And yet, research shows that we compare ourselves unfavourably to images of our friends on social media. We believe that the images our friends put out there are real. If they can look this good in photos, can we? They’re regular people, after all. One study, by the University of Florida, asked one group of women to browse Facebook for 20 minutes and the other to look at pictures of cats. When the experiment ended, the Facebook group reported greater body dissatisfaction than those who spent time researching cats.

So maybe it’s time to start a revolution. To promote authenticity over filtered beauty. To show our friends who we really are, no filters applied. The impact of the selfie could be to portray real people, and real beauty in a positive way. What do you think?

@all: Less is more or do you swear by a filter?