The hand is always on the hip.
You're probably noticed it too. Every social media picture of young women between the ages of 12-22 involves whoever is standing on the ends -- which might be a picture of two people or of ten --positioning herself in such a way that her figure is more accentuated by a hand on the hip. It even happens with one girl in a solo shot (ala celebrities).
I wanted to know if I am alone in thinking this trend is a bit strange. So, off to google I went. I was not the only one asking. In general, the "answers" to the omnipresent question, "Why?" were focused on the fact that the hand-on-the-hip accentuates the figure, makes one look skinnier and is "girly." Some people offered their inkling that the hands-on-hip maneuver is a means of "showing off."
|There's so much more freedom and originality here! (Source)|
What happened to just being oneself? Why do young women feel compelled to conform to a particular pose, no matter the occasion, in order to take a proper picture? Why are all pictures nearly identical when the people in them are so different? Why is "showing off" the only way to be beautiful? Before putting the hand on the hip, these are questions to reflect on and consider.
(What will we think in 20 years when we look back at these photos? Will 2010's parties in the future feature massive photo-ops of hands-on-hips poses? These are more questions to ask, possibly related to how ridiculous I find this trend, but these are not nearly as important as the considerations above.)
There's something about the whole pose that cries, "Here I am, everybody!" But the beauty of beauty is that it is silently, yet powerfully, calling another to rejoice. Beauty isn't about neon lights and loud noises that tell us to stop and look. Beauty is about something so intriguing, so surprising, that we can't help but stop, look and rejoice. Authentic beauty doesn't require an announcement. True beauty trusts and doesn't focus on self. Beauty is a gift from God who is all Beauty, and beautiful revelations in our lives can't help but point back to Him.
This doesn't mean we should walk around in the most haggard appearance possible, trusting that beauty is here, so what I say and do don't matter. But on the other hand, if beauty is a gift we receive that invites others to an encounter with the Author of Beauty, then what does putting my hand on my hip really accomplish?
This is just a humble plea for a rebirth of originality, being one's self and smiling authentically instead of asking behind gritted teeth (and a hand on the hip), "Does this make me look less fat?"