Pop Culture dictionary

.5 selfie

0.5 selfie [ point fahyv sel-fee ]

What does .5 selfie mean?

A .5 selfie (said as point five selfie) is a selfie taken with a smartphone’s ultra-wide angle lens.

Like a selfie, a .5 selfie is taken by oneself of oneself (and sometimes also with others), but the resulting photo usually features an unusual angle or is distorted in some way due to the effect created by the ultra-wide angle lens. This effect is thought to be part of the appeal of taking .5 selfies.

In addition, some people consider .5 selfies to be more spontaneous or casual than typical selfies because the wide-angle lens is typically on the back of a smartphone camera, meaning that the person (or people) taking the photo can’t see what it looks like until after they take it. (In this way, .5 selfies are often thought to be a way of avoiding the curated perfection of a meticulously framed selfie.)

Example: I only take .5 selfies because I like to subvert society’s beauty standards.

Related words

🤳 Selfie emoji, zoomer, uwu, normie

Where does .5 selfie come from?

group of friends taking a selfie

In the term .5 selfie, the .5 is a reference to the fact that the ultra-wide angle lens on smartphone cameras is often labeled as .5x or 0.5x in reference to the field of view (or “zoom” level).

In practice, .5 selfies have been possible since at least 2019, when some popular smartphone models added an ultra-wide angle lens to their cameras.

Both the trend and the term became popular in 2022, when mostly younger users of social media platforms such as Instagram began posting .5 selfies. The trend is often attributed to factors that are seen as part of a reaction to the trend of attempting to take a “perfect” selfie, namely the appeal of posting photos with unusual angles and distorted features and the fact that most .5 selfies can’t be viewed until after they’re taken.

Examples of .5 selfie

Wherever Gen Z gathers these days, a 0.5 selfie is almost bound to be taken, capturing the moment with random flattery — or comical lack thereof.
Kalley Huang, The New York Times, June 2022
taking a .5 selfie on my back camera and then turning my whole wrist around at a terrible angle and a stranger asks “do you want me to take your picture?” like i didn’t just get the perfect shot…
@nelliexnellie, June 16, 2022

Who uses .5 selfie?

Like other selfies, .5 selfies are often shared on social media. In particular, .5 selfies emerged as a trend among younger social media users, often as a way to create photos that are intentionally distorted or less meticulously framed.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of .5 selfie like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of .5 selfie that will help our users expand their word mastery.