For the last several years, the selfie has all but dominated our social media lives. News feeds on Snapchat, Facebook, and especially Instagram are dominated by selfies that, for the most part, are posted with the specific intent of looking "good," and it's only gotten more competitive with each passing year. We now have apps to contour, filter, and literally morph our faces so that our selfies are no longer even recognizable images of ourselves. This is why "chinning" selfies on Instagram are more refreshing than a bucket of ice water to the face on a hot summer's day.
"Chinning" is the latest Instagram trend to take over our feeds, and we should all breathe a deep sigh of relief that we get to enjoy something so essentially human and fundamentally lighthearted. It's a pretty simple practice: You take a selfie with as many chins as you can. Bonus points if you have a cool landscape in the back, and even more bonus points if you can contort your face to have more than five chins.
The trend can be tracked down to Instagrammer Michelle Liu, a pro-chin woman who has dedicated her own Insta to the pursuit of high-quality "chinning."
Her account is aptly titled "Chinventures," and if you don't already want to be this girl's BFF, you need to spend a minute or two on her page.
According to HelloGiggles, Liu started her @Chinventures account in September of 2016. A little over a year later, she amassed over 8,500 followers from only 75 posts, and each one is more epic than the last.
In an interview with Mic, Michelle Liu explained how her knack and passion for "chinning" selfies have gone viral and developed into a full-blown hobby:
My chinning entertained my friends all through middle school, high school and college, at which point I decided to share my chin with the world.
Strangers always notice me chinning. Some appear shocked, others confused, but across the board from my experience, they are usually entertained.
Liu's "chinning" trend may have been a low-key source of entertainment for her friends for the past few years, but she's now struck an international chord, and she's quickly becoming an increasingly famous world traveler.
Women all over the globe have begun to emulate Liu, taking their own "chinning" selfies and sharing them on Instagram.
Each "chinning" selfie is glorious in its own way, and the best part about the whole thing is this: All of the women in these pictures are genuinely having fun. As of now, there are over 8,000 posts under the hashtag #chinning on Instagram. That's almost one post for every one of Liu's followers. And man, have they caught onto the trend quickly.
The supposedly "proper" way to take a selfie is to appear super serious, suck in your cheeks, and take a photo from a high angle. And while there's nothing wrong with loving yourself and celebrating your own particular look, there's something very tough about trying to fit your face into one type of mold.
It's become common practice for us to work at our selfies, to take dozens of pictures to find just the right angle, to think of the "perfect" caption to go with that "perfect" angle, all so we can chase after those ever-elusive likes.
It's been apparent for years how problematic selfies and other conventional standards of beauty can be within the social media universe. For example, more youths experience bullying on Instagram than on any other social media site. At the same time, Teen Vogue reports that millennials spend an hour taking selfies each week. When you put that all into perspective, it's not that hard to see why it's so freaking important to have people like Michelle Liu on our feeds.
Liu reminds us that social media is what we make it, that there's more than one way to take a beautiful selfie, and that a picture is just that: a picture — no more, no less.
At the end of the day, social media is best used when we're communicating, supporting, and appreciating one another to be fierce in whatever way makes us feel beautiful and empowered and overall amazing.
If you ask me, there's a whole lot more to love — and to learn — within one @chinventure selfie than within, say, an entire coffee table book of "normal" selfies. Keep "chinning," girl.