Article Lead Image

The definitive list of places where you can’t take a selfie

One Alabama sorority has reportedly banned selfies for its members, but they're hardly the first.


Molly McHugh

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 28, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 8:06 pm CDT

The latest selfie craze may be banning them. Over the weekend, news broke that the University of Alabama’s chapter of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority decided to ban selfies for its members. According to one Bama undergrad, the sorority is requiring pledges to sign social media contracts in which the pledges must pledge (say pledge one more time) “no selfies.” 

The sorority thinks that selfies can be embarrassing or perhaps negatively taint their reputations. Which might sound prudish and antiquated (especially given college ladies’ propensity to snap up them selfies on the regular), but it could be a smart move in avoiding a variety of consequences. 

The Bama Zetas aren’t the only group that have an issue with self photographry on photo-sharing apps. Behold: A short list of all the places, people, or situations in which a selfie has been effectively banned. 

The Hong Kong marathon

In the name of safety, the marathon’s organizers outlawed self portraiture. 

The aftermath of the Philippines disaster

After some police officers and other officials were caught taking selfies of the wreckage following Typhoon Yolanda, they were outlawed in the area (at least for policeman). 

Mandela’s coffin

After the selfie seen ‘round the world made headlines, the photographs were barred from being taken at Mandela’s coffin viewing. 

The voting box

…Or at your house. Or really, wherever you happen to be with your ballot. This actually depends on what state you live in, but we’d suggest erring on the safe side. Just, don’t take a selfie with your ballot, OK, Beyoncé

St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church’s Nativity Scene

The pastor of this Illinois church would like you to please refrain from taking pictures with the creche, or Nativity scene. Likely applicable to Christmastime only. 

Big cats

Soon, that baller selfie with the pet lion your uncle from Dubai bought you may be illegal. Also, endangered animals in general look like a no-go.

The Ciele Cottage

This Irish pub in Toronto allegedly isn’t a fan of selfies. 

In the driver’s seat

Just … duh. 

This Footlocker casting call

… has no interest in your selfies. 


This Brooklyn dance club doesn’t care if you got your hair done and your nails done too and your outfit and you’re in your shoes (thus concludes this article’s sampling of Destiny’s Child’s “Jumpin Jumpin”). No photos, no Instagram, no selfies. 


Derek Jeter doesn’t allow cameras whatsoever, so a selfie with the Jeets in his natural habitat is out of the question. 

The Gilbert Street Hotel

A joke, maybe?

Lake Superior University

This Michigan college wants to ban selfies. Actually it just wants to ban “selfies,” as in the word … which is a weird gripe, but OK. 

Shakespeare’s Globe

This user complained about being told to stop it with the selfies at the Globe’s Wanamaker Theatre and was told via Twitter all photography distracts from from the “experience of the space.” 

Michelle Obama’s birthday party

No cell phones, no selfies. 

Dating sites

Relax! Only the NYPD are banned from dating site selfies. At least, uniformed selfies. 

Le Baron

This bar in New York’s Chinatown is not down with the selfie love. 

H/T Total Sorority Move | Photo via Zack Dowell/Flickr

Share this article
*First Published: Jan 28, 2014, 10:02 am CST