Kim who? Meet the real queen of selfies

Last updated 09:03 21/08/2014

THE MANY FACES OF MORTAO: She posts an average of 200 selfies a week. Aka, a lot.

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A Thai woman has out-selfied the world's most prolific selfie-taker, Kim Kardashian, by posting more than 200 photos of herself a week.

Mortao Maotor, who lives in Bangkok, has amassed more than 12,000 photographs of herself online, proving her dedication to becoming the selfie queen of the universe.

Although Mortao (not her real name) has relatively few followers on Instagram - about 20,000 - compared to other famed selfie "artists" - such as New Yorker Jen Selter, who has garnered more than 4 million followers after uploading thousands of photos of her unusually rounded backside and extremely toned stomach.

It seems, however, that Mortao is quickly catching up, and is proving a worthy contender for entry into selfie royalty, currently occupied by Kardashian and another snap-happy user, Mr Pimpgoodgame, a self-proclaimed selfie king from Texas who has 10 times as many followers as Mortao, if not as many photos.

But even a cursory glance at the 40-year-old Thai national's Instagram account shows that she takes her craft seriously, often taking selfies at the antique store/gallery she owns with her husband in an attempt to give her pictures a point of difference.

When Time Magazine called the Room of Art gallery to speak to Mortao, a woman claiming to be her daughter answered and said the reason Mortao posted so many photographs was "quite personal". She declined to comment further.

Mortao's photos vary from coy to suggestive, and are often taken while lying on a bed. She also occasionally includes images of her hands, legs, feet, food and pets. She also appears to be a heavy user of filters, giving many of her images a dream-like quality.

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Dr Shanton Chang, a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne who studies online behaviour, says people put up selfies to seek validation.

"At first it seems very fun thing to do, but then you get into that cycle and start to get hooked on the validation you get from friends for the selfies you put up," he told Fairfax Media. "It becomes a game - the more you put up, the more people comment, and the more likes you get."

Dr Chang says people can get addicted to the feelings of validation they receive, but admits that posting more than 200 seflies per week is not "moderate behaviour".

"With most humans, healthy behaviour is [defined by] moderation. Two hundred selfies a week is not moderate in any way, and there has to be other issues at play here rather than just taking selfies," he explains.

Society's obsession with selfies stems from the cult of the individual, Dr Chang says, where regular people become celebrities "just because".

"For example, people are now idolising women who participate in the "Fitspo" trend. You don't have to be a celebrity to be a celebrity anymore - you can just be an internet sensation."

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Kim Kardashian is due to publish a 352-page book containing 1,200 never-before-seen selfies in April 2015. The book will be called Selfish (well at least she's got a sense of humour about the whole thing).

Since joining Twitter in March and Instagram in February 2012, Kardashian has acquired more than 17 million followers.

THE MANY MOODS OF MORTAO ... here is a small sample of her selfies from the past seven days: 

- Sydney Morning Herald


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