Selfies were not a new thing at all when the phenomenon for some reason started receiving unreasonable media attention during the early/mid-2010s. What was new was the insistence that they were trendy now. The idea that somehow, selfies had become cool, was cemented in the existence of fake selfies. I am not talking about selfies that were manipulated in some way to make the people in them, or the background, look more interesting or attractive. I am talking about regular photos set up to look like selfies.

The elaborate variation of a fake selfie is a professional photo, made to look as if it was shot in a selfie setting - typically by letting one of the people in the photo hold their hands and arms towards the lens in a way that suggests they are operating a smartphone, while a photographer who is not in the picture actually operates the camera. One of the earliest prominent occurrences of an intentional fake selfie was perhaps this photo of the Mexican football team and their manager during the 2014 World Cup.

Due to selfies being perceived as "cool" or "hip", fake selfies have also inevitably crept into the world of advertising. The pictures used here typically employ perfect focus and angle, have impeccable lighting, and are shot in very high resolution using a lens only expensive cameras are equipped with. But a part of an arm or a hand is either set up to be visible at the edges of the photo, or it is manipulated into the picture after the shoot, to convey the impression of the spontaneous, personal and uncomplicated setting associated with selfies.