What makes something art? Is there some intrinsic quality that makes something an art object? Or does it require external contextualisation through institutions and communal conventions?

I don’t know. All I know is that I know what I like. And what I like is dumb selfies. In fact, 2014 Me once argued that selfies are the ultimate form of artistic expression.

Someone who has perfected the art of the selfie is Chinstagram, aka ‘Netflix and Chin’, who has probably the only Instagram account worth following on the entire planet. The account documents her adventures through a series of selfies. Oh, and every selfie prominently features her chin.

When Tim (‘Chinny’) Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, this is surely what he had in mind.


I caught up with Chinstagram to learn more about how this came about, and what chin selfies (or a ‘chinfies’) mean to her.

When and why did you decide to start taking chin selfies?

It was a long time ago, I was spending my summer with my Polish girlfriends in the Masurian lake region. We would let our imagination take over while taking selfies. That was the first time I realised how much happiness silly selfies can bring to people around you. I continued spreading this joy around with my closest friends. Years later, I created an Instagram account.

It was the day I decided to start writing my PhD thesis and thought it would be a nice way to keep my mood up by making people around me laugh. In fact, the first chinfie I ever posted was taken in a library. I was there with one of my best friends, who loved the chinstagram idea. He kind of became my creative director of sorts.

On top of that, I never understood why so many people put so much effort in making their lives look perfect on social media and thought it would be a nice idea to capture snapshots of my life but in a more genuine way. So why not spice it up with a pinch of stupidity? Instead of searching for instagrammable spots and such I would capture any moment when I felt happy and at the same time particularly silly. That’s why most of the posts are from concerts, holidays or just hanging out with my friends – all places that recharge my batteries.

How can I take the perfect chin selfie?

It requires a bit of neck flexibility, playing around with the camera angle and spicing it up with a bit of fun while simultaneously chinneling your darker side. Very often when I take a chinfie around my friends they start instructing me “more pain, we need more pain” and those are usually the best shots I get.

People who have beards – how can they get involved?

That’s a great question. I have been training a beardy friend of mine to master his chinfies for some time. While his facial expressions were perfect, the chins were always hidden below his facial hair… One day he decided to shave his beard, leaving the moustache and took one of the best chinfies I have ever seen. So my tip for people with beards who want to get involved would be to just get creative with their facial hair to expose their chinline a bit more. Go a little crazy!

If you could take a chin selfie with a celebrity, who would you like to take a chin selfie with?

Phoebe Bridgers, preferably both of us would be wearing a skeleton onesie on top of Teufelsberg (translates to Devil’s Mountain). We would be standing on top of a former U.S listening station, surrounded by the majestic Grunewald forest with 360° view of Berlin and its surroundings.

What does the future hold for chin selfies?

You might have noticed I have not been active on Instagram in almost a year!!! The last post I made was during a babyshower of my best friend in Warsaw. I made a promise to myself that the next post will be with her child. I actually went back to Warsaw for her birth but didn’t dare to wake a sleeping infant up to take a picture. I’m planning to visit them next month and have a long photoshoot with her.

Once that is out, I will continue capturing my adventures and sharing it around. I have a lot of fun doing this and always hope that it brings a smile on someone else’s face!

And there we have it! Big thanks to Chinstagram for chatting with me.

And I’m sure we can all agree: Chinfies are the wholesome content that might just turn this whole ‘2020’ thing around.