kim kardashian selfie, celebrity selfies, instagram

The world’s obsession with celebrity — from Oscar winners to A&E’s prized gaggle of rednecks — has reached a fever pitch, thanks to fans’ relatively newfound ability to interact directly with their favorite actors, musicians, and artists through a variety of social media platforms.

While tweets, Facebook status updates, and the occasional meet-and-greet at a promotional appearance may satiate some of the fans’ rabid desire to get close to their favorite celebs, if there’s one thing that can cement a celebrity’s fanbase, it’s knowing how and when to show off their most intimate moments with a selfie.

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The art of self-photography, as pioneered by early 19th century daguerreotypewhores and perfected by Kim Kardashian, is one of the easiest ways to ensure strangers will obsess over your every move, but fans are fickle, and one too many photos of you eating lunch or reading and you could leave yourself as obsolete as a Hilton sister.

To keep your cultural capital on the rise without doing much more than turning on your phone’s front-facing camera, heed these important rules:

1. Half naked pictures are always preferable: Whether it’s Kimmy’s butt-bearing leotard selfie, Nicki Minaj testing out the tensile strength of a tube top, or Miley Cyrus giving her best Lil Kim impression, the reception these PG-13 photos have received makes one thing clear: hot, scantily clad women are still in high demand among the internet’s countless perverts. If you’ve got it (it being an oversized secondary sex characteristic), flaunt it — or at least squeeze it into something tiny and shoot from above.

2. Show off your weight loss: Looking good in your bikini/romper/underwear is cool and all, but it’s all the more impressive if you’ve got a big ol’ pregnancy pic or a shot of you going to town on a mountain of fries to compare it to.  There’s nothing people love more than watching others lose insane amounts of weight seemingly overnight, so oblige your adoring subjects by playing up that double chin, buying all of your clothes a size too small, and suddenly fast like crazy until you’re just a sack of bones in an American Apparel onesie. Just make sure you chalk it up the insane change to portion control and exercise — nobody likes a cheater!

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3. Get some other celebs involved: While you don’t want anyone to upstage you in a selfie, the amount of attention a photo gets is often directly proportional to the number of celebs packed into the shot. Just make sure that all of your friends are a little bit more wack than you — add a CBS star here, a rapper’s messy girlfriend there — and you’ll achieve the sole focus you’re striving for, while looking like a million bucks, if only by comparison.

4. Get charitable: How can tell which celebs are the most charitable? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you by any means necessary — especially if that means a picture of them doing something reasonably kind that they can post to social media. Whether they’ve got a sick kid on their lap or are pretending to pick up trash by the side of the highway, the volunteering humblebrag is a surefire crowd pleaser. It makes you look good, it makes your followers feel good for supporting you, and, if you’re Chris Brown, probably helps you work your way off probation to boot.

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