The World’s Most Selfie-Obsessed City is in Asia

Philippines and Malaysia can pat themselves on the back. Both countries have earned two spots each on the list of top ten selfie-obsessed cities in the world.

We’re not 100% sure when the rise of selfies began. We’re positive some of the older social media sites like Friendster and MySpace have a thing or two to do about it. After all, the infamous “MySpace angles” began the obsession with utilizing angles and lighting to compliment one’s face.

But then selfies began to explode. With the rise in popularity of Facebook and Instagram, the selfie-trend started spreading. In fact, The Guardian recently tried to explain how selfies became a worldwide phenomenon. 

Many of you roll your eyes at selfies. I’m specifically pointing a finger at hipsters who say they’re too cool for selfies, the older generation who disagrees with anything millennials do and those who have become annoyed because “that one friend” has to post up a selfie every single day. Despite any negative emotions you may harbor about selfies, there is no denying that the world is still in love with them.

TIME magazine decided to find out just how much love we have for selfies and where this love was coming from. They investigated the geography of selfie-taking and created a list of top 100 selfiest cities in the world. As you may have expected, there are quite a few Asian cities on this list including the #1 selfie-crazed city.

1. Makati City and Pasig, Philippines
258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

2. Manhattan, N.Y.
202 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

3. Miami, Fla.
155 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

4. Anaheim and Santa Ana, Calif.
147 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

5. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
141 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

6. Tel Aviv, Israel
139 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

7. Manchester, England
114 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

8. Milan, Italy
108 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

9. Cebu City, Philippines
99 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

10. George Town, Malaysia
95 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

Check out the full list here. 

Malaysia Sends First Female Cadet to AXE Apollo Space Academy

Story by Taylor Weik

After facing sexist comments over Facebook in Malaysia’s AXE Apollo Space Race for being the only female contestant out of the 15 applicants, Roshini Muniam was announced the winner on September 24 and will represent Malaysia at the Apollo Space Academy in Florida this December.

Muniam, a 27-year-old post-graduate student and college lecturer at the University of Malaya who dreamed of experiencing zero-gravity from a young age, discovered the competition and after searching for gender-related conditions (AXE markets its body spray towards men, which might explain the male-dominated contest), she applied without hesitation.

The social media-based competition had 15 contestants participate in various physical and mental challenges like scuba diving and constructing rockets over the past couple months, as well as post their bios online for users to vote on who would become “the next AXE-tronaut.”

“Being an astronaut is not just a man’s dream,” Muniam said in the video linked to her finalist profile. “I want to inspire Malaysians and the rest of the world to put their dreams into actions and make them reality.”

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After Facebook released the profiles and photos of the top five contestants –– of which Muniam was one –– angry Facebook users took to the comments section and posted a slew of sexist comments.

“Women should be rejected… it is only for males… if your tampon burst while you are in space, the entire spacecraft will be spoilt,” read one of the responses to Muniam’s photo.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” Muniam responded to the comments from her Facebook page. “I am all out to win this competition because I want to inspire ordinary people to have extraordinary dreams & goals.”

News of the sexist feedback spread to Tumblr, where bloggers participated in one goal: to get Muniam up to first place. And as of September 24, they succeeded.

Muniam will fly out to Florida for space camp for the next leg of the race, where she will continue to compete to be in the top 22 out of 60 international representatives that will be sent to space. If she wins, Muniam will be Malaysia’s first woman astronaut ever.