The selfie is an art — a delicate tightrope walk between posterity and vanity — which is why one posted this weekend by Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera sent currents of unrest throughout the Web.
Setting aside the fact that the 70-year-old TV personality appears almost in the nude, the snap was just not as artful as it could have been. So MTV News turned to the master of the selfie's photofeed — yes, that would be Justin Bieber — for some guidance on how Rivera could have made his photo POP.
Rivera has since taken down the photo, which he tweeted Saturday with the caption "70 is the new 50 (Erica and family are going to be so pissed ... but at my age...)." But if he ever decides to turn the lens on himself again, here's five Bieber-sourced tips he should heed:
1). Perfect Your Pout
We know that you're proud of your physique, Geraldo — "70 is the new 50!" — but that smile plastered under your 'stache is just so overt.
If you study the oeuvre of Justin Bieber's Instagram photos, you will find that whether the Biebs is shirtless and chilling, or shirtless and bro-ing down with his homeys, not a smile dances across that face. No, instead he has perfected this soulful look (see above), one that speaks volumes without uttering a word.
Lush lips just barely parted, eyebrows raised slightly upward, the deep pools of his eyes shimmering with so many ... questions. The Bieber pout says: "I am shirtless. I don't know why I'm shirtless. But now that I am shirtless, please go with me on a dalliance into the most intimate corners of your mind."
Study this face, dear Geraldo, practice it in a mirror if need be. Which leads us to our next tip.
2). Nix The Mirror
Did you know, Geraldo, that most cellular devices are now equipped with a front-facing camera? Bieber certainly does.
While your self-snap in many ways resembles the kind of photo that muscle-bound (or -lacking) men often upload to dating profiles, Bieber's images retain the illusion that he has been caught unawares by a curious photog. "Oh, hey there, guys!" the pics seem to say, "I am just here making silly faces in my room! What's up with you?!"
His arm may sometimes creep into the shot (giving us a glimpse at his glorious tattoos), but we're never subjected to an intimate view of his bath towel and toiletries. Some things are better left unseen.
3). Leave Something To The Imagination
And thus begins tip numero three: If you got it, flaunt it — but not all of it. If he had studied the shirtless snaps of one Justin Bieber, Geraldo would have noticed that while he bares his rippling chest, the pop phenomenon almost always crops his lower abdominals out of the shot. You, fluffy towel-wielding one, have put your hand up on your hip and let your modesty dip.
Yes, Bieber may wear his pants low, low, low, but he never goes commando, leaving the contents of his drop-crotch pants a whispery mystery.
4). Put A Filter On It
We're not sure what photo app you used to snap your (slightly blurry) selfie, friend, but the harsh light of that bathroom is doing you no favors. Might we suggest slapping some color on that washed-out pic? Perhaps the same filter that Justin employs when cavorting with polar bears and advising his fans to "dream big"?
This message could very well for you, Geraldo. It could very well be for you.
5). When You Swag, Swag Hard
The rose-colored glasses were a start, G-Man and while we appreciate the symbolism that they represent, take a lesson from Bieber when accessorizing: If you're aiming for swag, go all the way. "Try" is just another way of saying "did not succeed."