We always knew that selfie-taking was a little bit cringeworthy, but now it turns out it’s also really quite dangerous.
Following a tragic turn of events in Mumbai, in which a bysander drowned trying to save three girls who fell off the promenade and into the sea while trying to take a photo of themselves, the Indian city has enforced a selfie-taking ban in 16 of their tourist hotspots.
These areas will be monitored by ‘selfie police’ (yep, that’s a thing) to prevent people from sneaking a snap in banned areas.
It turns out this isn’t the only occasion on which taking a selfie has proved dangerous. In September last year, a teenager from Texas accidentally shot himself in the head while posing for a selfie with a gun, and in December, a Pakistani man died trying to take a selfie on a train track. In fact, statistics show selfies were a more common cause of death last year than sharks. True story.
For reasons related to everything from selfie-taking safety to a distaste for the infamous ‘look at me, I’m on holiday shots, there are certain places around the world where selfies are now actually banned. So, for times when you’ve seen just one ‘last night’s make up xox’ snap on Instagram, here’s your definitive guide to selfie-free safe havens.
1. Mumbai, India
Starting with the most recent. Selfies have been banned in six hotspots, including the Marine Drive promenade and Girgaum Chowpatty beach. A website called SelfieToDieFor has even been launched by Deepak Ghandi, who told the Times of India that he started the website ‘as a movement to create awareness about taking selfies responsibly.’ We hear ya.
2. New York, USA
New York State decided to ban the act of taking selfies with big cats, such as lions and tigers, after a huge amount of snaps of men posing with the animals started to surface on Tinder. People are no longer allowed in close proximity to the animals at zoos or circuses.
Solid proof of the problem found at TinderGuysWithTigers.tumblr.com.
3. Garoupe Beach, South of France
One too many ‘hot dogs or legs’ shots has pushed this French beach to ban selfie-taking on the proximity. Dubbing the shots ‘braggies’, a spokesperson for the beach has declared that ‘we want people to be able to enjoy our exclusive beach in the moment, not spending the majority of their time bragging to their friends and family back home.’ So it’s officially a No Braggies Zone.
4. London, UK
Yup, you got it, the selfie ban even extends into the UK. After the snaps became an all-too-prominent feature in electorial campaigns, selfie-taking was banned at polling sations and is actually illegal. Anyone who tried to sneak a selfie when going to vote at the last general election faced a £5,000 fine.
And that’s not the only place in the UK where you better watch your selfie game. Wimbledon (as in the tennis championships, not the whole place) has also banned selfies-sticks in their stalls.
5. Pamplona, Spain
Officials in this Spanish town put a ban on selfies during the Running of the Bulls event, after one man was gored to death when he sneaked a snap with his back to the bulls. Not a matter to be taken lightly by the selfie police, with another bloke’s selfie costing him a hefty 3,000 euros.
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has not just banned selfie sticks, like many other prestigious galleries, but gone the whole way and said a big no to all types of photography. The museum’s spokesperson claimed that people taking photographs were disrupting those who just wanted to view the paintings in peace.
7. Mecca, Saudi Arabia
For some reason, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The ubiquity of social media has a lot to answer for, and one of those has been dubbed ‘Hajj selfie fever.’ The phenomenon saw hundreds of young Muslims documenting their pilgrimage online.
Clerics have politely asked the social media savvy pilgrims to refrain from taking selfies, as it doesn’t quite fit the pilgrimage vibe.
8. Lake Tahoe, California
They might look cute and cuddly, but wild bears don’t make for a good photo partner. For this reason, officials at Lake Tahoe have banned selfies around the area, fearing that someone may get attacked when approaching a bear for a selfie. We get the whole ‘camera shy’ thing, but our fury friends need to chill.
9. Brookyln, USA
When the Output club in Brooklyn first opened, it defined itself as being ‘open to anyone, but not for everyone.’ The club has a strict no photography policy (YES; even in the toilets, girls) and aims to promote a purer party where the focus is on the music rather than the selfies.
Iranian footballers and their coaches have been forbidden from snapping selfies with female fans, amid fears that they may use them for political capital against the country, or to sue the players for harassment. The footballers also came under fire for posing with women who weren’t ‘appropriately dressed’, according to Iranian morals, and the women were censored out of the snaps.
Don’t freak out, you can still snap a selfie with Mickey Mouse. You just better hope your arm is long enough to fit everyone in, ’cos selfie sticks are strictly banned in all Disney theme parks.
12. Hong Kong
Officials at the Hong Kong Marathon are enforcing a ban on selfies after a huge pile up at the beginning of the race was caused by a woman stopping for a snap, and creating a domino effect as all the runners behind her tumbled to the ground. Woops is an understatement.
And the places we WISH selfies were banned? Starbucks (especially if it features you drinking a coffee), all beaches everywhere, and of course, your bathroom mirror. It would make the world (OK, Instagram) a better place.