Take a Mental Picture — 6 Places Where Selfies are Banned


There’s a time and a place for selfies. Not knowing the rules could lead to legal woes. (Photo: Thinkstock)

People have strong opinions about selfies. Usually it’s just an annoyance with the proliferation of them in our social media feeds. Like, seriously, how many pictures of your own face does one person need?

Amongst the complaints about selfies is the argument that they should be banned due to the safety concerns attached with snapping the “perfect” photo. Last November, a woman died in Spain when she slipped and fell on a bridge while trying to take a selfie. And in August, a couple fell from the rocky edge of a cliff in Cabo da Raca, Portugal while trying to take a photo of themselves on the edge. These stories, coupled with the bragging nature of selfies, has inspired many cities around the world to ban them. Here are a few places around the world where you might actually have to put your phone away and enjoy the scenery.

La Garoupe Beach, France


A selfie like this on La Garoupe beach could get you in trouble. (Photo: Cristian Ruz/Flickr)

There’s nothing worse than seeing a friend sipping a cocktail on a beach while you’re slogging away at work. It’s, dare we say, kind of braggy. That’s why a section of La Garoupe, a popular beach in Southern France, has designated “No braggy zones.” Last August, the beach was patrolled by police who shut down anyone taking a selfie. It was a not-so-subtle way of saying, “Be happy. But keep it to yourself.”

Pamplona, Spain


This guy was fined more than $4,000 for snapping this selfie. (Photo: Getty)

You might assume that people running from a pack of horned animals would want to focus. But where there is danger, you’ll find selfies. Last summer, a man took the most dangerous selfie ever while running with the bulls. The photo went viral, and he was subsequently fined about $4,000 for snapping the selfie. Why the hefty fee? Spanish authorities have passed a law banning the use of recording equipment during the running of the bulls — and this includes selfies. So the moral of this story is to have a friend snap a photo of you running from a nearby balcony… or just don’t run it at all!

New York 


Taking a selfie with a tiger is pretty insane. Especially when you see those teeth. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Last year millions of people (mainly men) showed their wild side by posting selfies with tigers on dating sites like Tinder. While these photo ops can be impressive, they aren’t necessarily great for the animals. Typically these large cats are heavily drugged for the photos, and animal lovers everywhere deem the practice to be exploitative. To protect the animals, New York has become the first state to ban photos posing with these large and beautiful creatures. Guess those guys will have to find another way to impress women online.



You can take a selfie by yourself…just not with the team. (Photo: Getty)

Taking a selfie with your favorite athlete can feel like winning the Super Bowl. And it’s well within your “fan” rights to snap a picture should the opportunity arise. Unless you’re in Iran, that is. Ali Akbar Mohamedzade, head of the Iranian Football Federation’s moral committee, issued an order that forbids players, coaches, and other team staff from posing with female fans in Australia. He’s worried that photos with women who are not dressed or acting in accordance with strict Islamic code could use the photos for political gain. This comes as no surprise seeing as women aren’t allowed to attend games in the Islamic Republic because of gender segregation.

Mecca, Saudi Arabia


A seflie in front of a large crowd in Mecca. (Photo: nazmitutuncu/Instagram)

Every year, millions of Muslims travel to Mecca to engage in prayer, participate in rituals, and take a moment for self-reflection. And what says “self-reflection” better than posting a selfie of your pilgrimage? To put it lightly, religious leaders are not impressed by the growing number of selfies being taken by Muslims on their haj pilgrimage. They believe that taking photos distracts participants from fully engaging in the experience, and we couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing harder than praying and posting at the same time.

England and South Korea


Use your selfie stick in moderation. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Ah, the selfie stick. This plastic pole attaches to your smartphone and allows users to capture the perfect photo. Unfortunately, they’re pretty awkward and get in the way when used in a large crowd. That’s why venues like the O2 Arena and Brixton Academy in Great Britain have banned people from using selfie sticks during events. South Korea has also issued a lockdown on the selfie stick craze. Some sticks use Bluetooth and, if unlicensed, can cause other devices, like cell phones, to malfunction. To crack down on frauds, South Korea will issue a $30,000 fine and possible three-year jail sentence to those using unauthorized brands. That’s a high price to pay for the “perfect” photo.

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