Andrea Smith: Very little is spontaneous these days, even famous Oscar selfies
IT'S the bloody double chin that wrecks it for me.
There I am, smiling for a friend's camera and fantasising that the resulting pic will look good.
And then the pudding face and shiny nose beaming out from Facebook the following day wrecks the carefully-crafted image that I had in my head.
Which is why I'm a fan of the selfie, a phrase that I suspect is possibly short for self-love.
Shoot from above, thus eliminating that pesky flabby chin, and then spend 10 minutes lovingly cropping, filtering and tweaking the result to ensure that the most flattering version is selected.
When I got new coloured hair extensions the other day, I wanted to upload a pic of the result on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.
The hairdresser snapped one from behind, which I deleted as I looked like a sumo wrestler in it, and my friend Marie took one over lunch, which promptly got shelved because my hair looked messy.
So it was up to me to stretch my hand up as high as possible, smile into the phone and snap myself from above.
It took three goes, but once I had one I liked I cropped it to the most flattering angle and filtered it a little, then popped it online and waited for the nice comments to roll in.
I should be ashamed, but I'm not, because we're all at it. Filtering, tweaking, cropping, lightening -- sure, we're all living in a glamorous photo shoot these days.
Which is why the now famous selfie that host Ellen DeGeneres set up at the Oscars on Sunday was such a sensation and was retweeted so many times that it temporarily broke Twitter. It even topped the one of Pope Francis in the Vatican.
With Ellen being joined in the frame by Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Channing Tatum and Lupita Nyong'o, it has been dubbed the most star-studded selfie of all time.
It was taken by Cooper who crouched in the front and shot upwards, meaning that even skinny little JLaw was afflicted with the accursed double chin.
Pity poor Liza Minnelli, who tried desperately to get in on the act from behind but was thwarted by her stubby little legs. The one randomer who snuck in, Lupito's kid brother Peter, must be still pinching himself.
The real winner was the sponsor Samsung, of course, who make the Note 3 model that the pic was snapped on, proving that Hollywood A-list selfies are probably just as "spontaneous" as the ones the rest of us "snap" down the pub.
Samsung denies the selfie was part of a product placement deal and said in a statement that it was "a great surprise for everyone" and it was "delighted to see Ellen organically incorporate the device into the selfie moment".
That DeGeneres tweeted backstage pics later using her own iPhone must have been a tad awkward.
With so many of us posting selfies, the internet is awash with pouting, preening images of everyone looking ravishing while having a good time.
They are rarely, if ever, spontaneous. They can also be fraught with danger -- woe betide the pal who posts a less-than-flattering pic of someone else online.
Our bottoms are even getting in on the act these days -- witness the recent rise in popularity of the belfie, or bum selfie.
And that's where I draw the line. There's no way on earth that any filter, soft tone or clever angle is ever going to turn my less-than-bootylicious derriere into Kim Kardashian's.
For me, the golden rule will always be that any selfie doesn't include my whole selfie.