A passionate defence of the open-mouthed pout selfie


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A passionate defence of the open-mouthed pout selfie

Apparently it looks too sexual

The duckface, beloved by all of us as awkward teenagers doing those group star photos with our fingers, is by now pretty much dead. Long derided for being basic and stupid, people have moved away from it and found an even better, fitter way to pose in pics; the open mouth pout.

Lips slightly parted (obviously) a hit of teeth, a breathy, sexy vibe – there’s nobody who isn’t vastly improved by these pose. Like lots of other girls I’ve been a convert for a while, so you can imagine how horrified I was to discover that it’s not actually the open-mouth pout. According to the Daily Mail the “x rated selfie”. It’s “demeaning to our sex”, it’s “pathetic” and “it wouldn’t look out of place in a porn film”.


basic girl with name tag necklace, multimedia 2016

A post shared by Roisin Lanigan (@rosielanners) on Nov 11, 2016 at 4:03pm PST

Try, if you can, to ignore the fact that someone at the Daily Mail is still calling porn “a porn film” for a minute and just listen to this: “It’s as though the entire universe was having some sort of collective orgasm. And it’s pathetic”. The implication of course, if that girls aren’t actually doing this for themselves – that they just want to look like they’re mid-sex so that the boys who like their pics will think so too and want to see more.

It’s frankly patronising.

It’s also pretty baffling that people are still so squeamish over women liking themselves (especially sexually) and being comfortable with their sexuality that they’ll attack something as ingenuous as a selfie. So what if posing like this makes you look sultry or sensual? There’s nothing actually wrong with that, and branding it “pathetic” is just another way to lowkey shame women for liking what they look like, and insinuating that – god forbid – they like sex too.

“Well done, ladies”, the Daily Mail said. “You must be so proud of yourselves.” And actually yeah, most of us are. Learning to like yourself and how you look is a skill, and if posing like this helps people hone that skill then there’s nothing wrong with that. Hear it from the rest of the fans of the best new selfie pose there is:

Ella Theaker, Cardiff

“Why oh why is literally everything about women somehow deemed inappropriate? Too slutty, too frigid, like honestly why is it anyone else’s business what facial expressions we make? If somebody thinks that face is x-rated then they clearly need a bit more excitement in their life anyway.”

Bella Eckert, London

“I was mocked relentlessly on my WhatsApp group for this picture and the accompanying Snapchats on my story. ‘Were you feeling fierce last night?’ they laughed. In word, yes. Yes I did – and I will not apologise. I’d put on a tight dress, a fur coat and some heels and I was at a ‘dollar bills’ themed party. I did feel fierce, so I rocked the open-mouthed pout. I have done it since and I will do it again.”

Hayley Gola, Connecticut

“Teeth technically aren’t showing but STILL, it looks great. I will never apologize for this trend.”

Lydia Baxter, Cardiff

“I’ll be completely honest, I’m not entirely sure why showing your teeth through a pout is deemed an ‘X-rated’ face?

“I took this one morning as I was getting ready because I decided why the heck not. I think Sarah Vine has confused the face of (the perfectly natural) female orgasm with a face of sass which highlights a woman’s lipstick – a necessary to combat the dry and chapped lips from winter.

“It’s hardly the sordid affair she’s making out.”

Eleni Mitzali, New York

“So what if it’s a bit ‘slutty?’ Girls get called sluts for just about anything, so we might as well embrace it. If we’re not getting told off for just taking selfies, we’re getting told off for how we take them. It’s getting kind of old. We’re hot and we might as well share it with the world. Bring it.”

Cait Munro, New York

“Taking selfies always feels really awkward and self-involved to me and I kind of try not to do it for that reason, but when you’re looking good and you know it (and you’re bored waiting for the subway), it has to be documented. It just does. That being said, I’m not what I would consider a ‘photogenic’ person by any stretch of the imagination, but you know what? This facial expression — with the mouth slightly open and the eyes a little squinted — is really fucking flattering, and I have no plans to stop using it.

“Because when you find a facial expression that makes you look sexy and model-esque (as opposed to weird and toothy), you don’t turn your back on it. No matter (or, especially) what the Daily Mail says.”