Let's be real: no one, let alone President Obama or the international woman of mystery that is Danish prime minister "Gucci" Helle Thorning-Schmidt, is begging for selfie with David Cameron. The only person who thinks people may want a selfie with David Cameron is David Cameron himself, who told the members of Parliament on Wednesday that he was merely obliging the request of Ms. Thorning-Schmidt (we call her Gucci around these parts) when he posed for the famous photo at Nelson Mandela's memorial.
"When a member of the Kinnock family asked me for a photograph, I thought it was only polite to say yes," Cameron told MPs. Gucci Helle is married to Stephen Kinnock, a British executive and son of politician Neal Kinnock — the two are very big deals in the U.K. He makes it sound as if Gucci is his biggest fan.
Cameron is bluffing and laid down a white lie at the feet of Parliament. Anyone who knows the rules, logistics, and dynamics of group selfies knows that Cameron is the odd man out.
There's always an odd man or woman out— the man or woman (boy or girl) that's just window dressing in a selfie, a lucky bystander to the actual focal points of the selfie. And Cameron has to know he was this guy. (In his defense, Cameron has been at the center of a couple of social media faux pas and might be just a social media neophyte who is blithely unaware of social media trends and culture.) Here's why:
Exhibit A: The Hands
If Cameron were genuinely asked to be in the selfie, he would be holding the smart phone like Obama is. Putting your hand on the camera/phone shows you are an active and enthusiastic participant in the selfie. It also ensures that you look really good, that you get the right chin angle. You see here that both Gucci and Obama are holding the phone, making sure they look good in the selfie. They do not care whether the angle they've chosen makes Cameron look good.
Exhibit B: The Lean
Rule #7b in the world of selfies states: the least important person in a selfie has to contort their body the most. Ergo: there's a reason you're straining to be in that picture. Look at the relative ease Obama is at and compare it with Cameron's contortion while trying to maintain British elegance.
Exhibit C: Where Did He Go?
My mother once told me: "Don't chase what you can attract." I believe she meant it to apply to women (sorry mom). In other words, play hard to get. This can apply to selfies too.
Like I said, the more effort you put in to being in a selfie shows your place on the selfie totem pole. Less effort is better and means your important. Now, what would you say to someone who actually sought out Gucci Helle and Obama and crossed sections in the FNB stadium to do so.
As you can see, the Obamas and Gucci (this was during the side-eye episode) were sitting in their assigned seats:
Cameron was sitting in a different section:
Cameron came to the Obama/Helle section, not the other way around. If Obama and Helle were really big David Cameron fans, then why didn't they go over to his section to hang out? I don't believe Parliament really wants to know the answer to that.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.