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The importance of the earnest selfie: Rihanna has an 'Instassistant'

Stars are realizing that their selfies have to be just so. Some are therefore delegating selfie-taking to trusted photographers.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

If you think it's enough to have a few fetching profile photos to secure your presence on the Web, then you're really deluding your selfie.

One of the great growth areas of self-presentation is constant self-presentation in pictorial form.

Your selfie today isn't your selfie yesterday, so you're obliged to ensure that your newest look is a complement to -- and an advancement on -- your yesterday look.

Those who reside permanently at the top of the world understand this. In a touching acceptance of their own imperfections, they are realizing that they can't trust themselves to capture their best self-image.

So, if we are to believe The Daily Mail, they are designating specific individuals to be their selfie-expressionists.

The Mail dubs them "Instassistants." This, though, is a touch degrading. These people are artists, under pressure every day to show a star's very best side. And some days, this can surely be very difficult.

One should therefore heap praise upon Rihanna's self-expressionist, Melissa Forde. She isn't merely the singer's best friend. She is the one who captures Rihanna's everyday essence.

If you look, for example, at Rihanna's Instagram account, it is full of pictures of, well, Rihanna.

These express a sad Rihanna, a pouting Rihanna, a posing Rihanna, a smoking Rihanna, a disrobed Rihanna and even an almost-smiling Rihanna.

They are by turns artistic, documentary, sultry, and provocative. Many are credited with a special hashtag homage to Forde: #MTFPhotography.

It appears, though, that Rihanna isn't the only celebrity to have such a resource readily at hand. Heidi Klum relies for her fetching, girl-next-door bottom shots on someone with a highly sensitive eye -- her mother.

Many more stars, such as Georgia May Jagger and Miranda Kerr, are also suspected of enjoying trusted snappers to reveal their true inner selves. The Mail deduces this by noticing that many of the supposed selfies show no evidence of the stars' hands holding their phones.

Some might be tempted to mock such vanity. But who isn't a captive slave to it too?

It's time, therefore, to consider not merely how you appear in some serious, one-off profile picture, in which you're wearing a practiced smile and the earrings your now-loathed ex gave you.

You have to take your selfie-consciousness out of your own hands. You have to audition someone to be your everyday Instagrammic chronicler.

It could be the person in the next cube to yours, who sees you at your most real every day. It could be your lover, your muse, or your Google bus driver.

Your Starbucks barista is surely a candidate, as is your favorite bartender.

I am not convinced, however, that siblings or parents are your best bet. There is always something of a rivalry in these relationships. I fear that, over time, you might discover that they have presented you in a way that suits their purposes, rather than your own.

Your purposes in posting as many selfies as possible are, after all, to make you appear fascinating, desirable, and deeply alluring when your face and demeanor are perfected by Instagram's Toaster filter.