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SEOUL STYLE: The Art of the Korean Selfie—Meet the Selca

February 05, 2021 Charlotte Cho


The Perfect Korean Selca


Selfies are huge and here to stay thanks to self-facing cameras. We all do them (even the president) and it's even held a place as an official word in the Oxford dictionary since 2013.


Admittedly, I was a newbie to selfies when I started living in Seoul in 2008, but it was obvious everyone else was a pro! In Seoul, selfies are called "selcas"—a portmanteau of the English words self and camera. Countless times, I have sat in a coffee shop and watched a girl take selcas for a solid 30 minutes—completely oblivious to the fact that it was a public space and someone could be watching her (you know, like creepy ol' me). I just couldn't stop watching because there are many unique aspects from the Western selfie, and so I decided to compile my notes into a blog post that describes the perfect Korean selca.

Most selfies are taken with the camera high above the head.
This angle naturally forces you to open your eyes bigger since you are looking up.
If you're not wearing a lot of eye makeup, this pose is the one for you.


The hand next to the cheek is a classic Korean prop to the selca. 
It is strategically placed to make your face look slightly slimmer or smaller.


Two hands totally work better than one.


The lips can be the focal point, with the lips pursed like you're blowing bubbles.


You probably had no idea that a frown is just as endearing as a smile.


Puffing out your cheeks can only add to the cuteness factor.


The wink is often used to make one look cute vs. seductive.


Collaging is common, and not just because you're feeling artsy fartsy. 


Your selca is your own canvas to draw on. Add stickers or even blush for added cuteness/humor.


And of course, boys take part in selca culture, too.


Hope you enjoyed this selca post! Please share your techniques or your own favorite selca in the comments below!

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About Charlotte

Soko Glam co-founder and chief curator. Licensed esthetician sharing the love of all things K-beauty.

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