You’re travelling, living your best life, and you want to capture the moment so you pull out your camera and snap away. Flipping the camera around you grimace; ‘that’s not going on Instagram’ you think. You try again for ~the shot~. Again. And again. What started off as a special moment has become a chore as you try to look perfect for social media’s beauty standards.
Hands up who else can relate to this? Well so could Michelle Liu, and she got sick of it so decided to make a new beauty trend: the Chinning Selfie Trend.
Michelle started feeling the pressures of getting the perfect shot for social media back in school. She realised comparing herself to other girls and hating on the way she looked wasn’t good for her self-esteem, so she decided to flip beauty standards of selfies on their head and started ‘chinning’ in her pictures. The Chinfie, AKA Chinning Selfie, was born.
Talking to Buzzfeed News, Michelle says that she didn’t want to put pressure on herself to look a certain way anymore so decided to have a laugh about it instead: “I felt that I wouldn’t be able to live up to those standards. As an alternative to traditional beauty, I started chinning to look silly in photos.”
“In today's age with so many people taking time to take the 'perfect' selfie, I decided that my trusty selfie stick could instead allow me to take 'chinfies'!" - Michelle, Buzzfeed News
Now what started as a joke in school has become a worldwide obsession with everyone who follows the hilarious ‘Chinchelle’ on Instagram. The weird looks and stares she sometimes gets are no match for the laughs and smiles she gets in abundance while she chins her way around the world.
Name a place and Michelle and her chin have probably snapped a pic in front of it! The Eiffel Tower, Oktoberfest, Krakow, New York City, Beijing, San Francisco, Japan and even Universal Studios, Wizarding World of Harry Potter have been treated to the Chinfie. The list is exhaustive, and while the travel is admirable, it’s the message behind it that really stands out.
Michelle has stayed humble throughout her growing ‘Chinsta’ fame, telling Insider that she’s glad she can make people laugh and not take themselves so seriously: “The thing I love most is that I didn’t know I would inspire people. I get messages and comments on my account about how much I inspire people and feel blessed. I never expected the popularity.”
While we all want to have a nice shot for our parents’ fridge, it’s important to remember that real beauty is on the inside, and social media isn’t real life. So next time you’re thinking negative things about yourself as you scroll through your camera feed, think about Michelle’s Chinfies. In fact, next time you’re travelling, we challenge you to take one!