Thursday, May 2, 2013

Why do girls put their hands on their hips in every photo?

I've noticed a funny phenomenon in pictures of high school and college girls lately.  

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)
I don't know why this picture craze bothers me so much.  I'm certainly not insinuating that it's a sin to pose in this way.  But, I really would like to know why girls today are under the impression that the only valid picture is the one taken with a stomach sucked in tight, a head tilted, and a hand on the hip.

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?"  

27 comments:

  1. If I could, I'd put my hands on my hips. Can't quite make it. Nearly everyone has a problem on where to put their hands in different situations. When speaking in front of an audience, there seems to be no satisfactory place to put you hands. Some, brush there hair back, others rub the side of their noses while others find it comfortable to scratch an itch. Finding a place to anchor the hands, like the hips, is a cowards way out.

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  2. I appreciate your commentary on this, trivial as it is. This bothers me to no end as well. It's so silly.

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  3. It says, I'm insecure.

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  4. Well the reason I found your article is because I googled this very thing and wanted to know "Why?"!!! It's not just younger women either. I see older women doing it now. Where did this trend come from and why is "everyone" doing it?
    I do not know why - but I do know it is bothering and is not natural. They all look odd to me.
    Thank you for your information. A weird phenomena that I want No part of.

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  5. It's just a place to put you're hand when you don't really know where to put it at least for me. By placing my hand on my hip I'm not where near trying to show off. I'm trying to look less awkward

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    1. I noticed to take a picture is kind of awkward, and there's that tendency to find a pose that, although isn't all that comfortable, it still makes having a picture taken a little easier because
      whenever you put your hands on your hips, you're submitting to the event before you (like when you're trying to figure how to proceed with something you're even remotely concerned with), and the "hand-on-the-hip" pose is just something you're raised with, right?

      But I'm sure you can agree that redundancy isn't at all interesting (unless you're a baby that reads and replies to blogs and is still into peek-a-boo..
      sorry, random lol)
      Luckily for you, you are unique, and the best way to accentuate your unique traits are through candid pictures.
      Of course, like many posed pictures, most candid pictures will be disappointing at first, but eventually you will find a photo that will represent the sheer essence of who you really are at heart :)
      Take Care

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  6. This is hysterical! I typed in why do people put their hand on their hip in every photo of them and I got here. SO, it's "not" just my niece doing it then, lol. She's a cute girl but I started to note to my husband that his niece always had her hand on her hip in her photo's and over the past year, there have been hundreds (she Loves her picture taken) and every single one has the same pose. It's become a joke at home and every time there is a new picture, we call out "Score!" because we are keeping track now. She is a little full of herself and I'm pretty sure it's body language to say look how cute I am, she is but it's a little over the top when you have to do this for attention. Commenting as anonymous because I would never wish to hurt her feelings.

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    1. Wow… if your niece is posing for attention its clearly working.. confidence is attractive.. here's a tip.. stop keeping "score"..
      - someone elses niece

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  7. it's an allusion to make the look skinnier. The empty space space tricks a persons eyes to think the person is skinny

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  8. Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She is the only fashion designer listed on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century...


    hmmmm... interesting pose in both of these photos.. check it out...

    http://cloud3.collegefashion.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/coco-chanel-perfume-ad.jpg

    http://www.femalefatal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Coco-Chanel-3.jpg

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  9. Actually. Besides this being a huge and annoying trend ( I agree), a lot of women do it because it makes their fat arms look thinner, and to try and slim down their waist.

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  10. I always concluded that they were model-wannabes! On the Today Show this morning they were showing Sports Illustrated models and sure enough, hands on their hips. Really lacks imagination and it is so tiring! I went to a girlfriend reunion last year and in one picture we did it as a joke toward our daughters! We all had fun laughing about it and "posing"! If it was don't casually, its not to bad but if you point your camera to any teen and over, up goes the arm!

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  11. That's why I love the Duchess of Cambridge. She is a classic. No tacky hand on the hip.

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  12. You are right on!! What a ridiculous trend.

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  13. I was wondering the same question, and thats how I got here!

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  14. Me too !!! Glad to see its not just annoying to me...

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  15. Because they are insecure and self centered. Stay away from them and find someone with original thought and free from social stereotypical behavior.

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  16. No, if you have long arms it looks awkward to just have it hanging down.

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  17. Ha! I was also wondering why the chicken wings posing is in style. I could probably try it to see if it makes me look thinner, but lets face it, it would probably make my arms look fatter. =)

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  18. I think reading into this pose so much is a little ridiculous. Sometimes I put my hand on my hip simply to put it somewhere, sometimes I don't and either way I'm not thinking about how it makes me look. Saying it's unoriginal is also kind of silly because taking every picture without your hand on your hip is just as repetitive and boring. Now don't get me wrong, I prefer natural shots over posed pictures any day but I don't have a personal photographer that can follow me around and take candids. So I'm sorry if it bothers you that my posed pictures all look the same: unnatural and forced but it's because they are.

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  19. I think reading into this pose so much is a little ridiculous. Sometimes I put my hand on my hip simply to put it somewhere, sometimes I don't and either way I'm not thinking about how it makes me look. Saying it's unoriginal is also kind of silly because taking every picture without your hand on your hip is just as repetitive and boring. Now don't get me wrong, I prefer natural shots over posed pictures any day but I don't have a personal photographer that can follow me around and take candids. So I'm sorry if it bothers you that my posed pictures all look the same: unnatural and forced but it's because they are.

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  20. I don't understand why this is something to even comment on. Posing in a way that's comfortable IS my originality. Being more photogenic may be an added bonus but certainly not my main goal. Attacking girls for falling into a normal pose of the current culture is just as terrible as forcing them to pose the same way- let them do what they want. Its their lives, their pictures, their looks- not yours.

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  21. HAHAHAHA! I googled about this because it drives me CRAZY. You look at my FB wall and every girl has her hand on her hip. It reminds me of the duck lip trend which I will say was worse.... maybe... lol

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  22. Let's face it. We all Google this for a reason. It us a female thing. I have a 5 yo granddaughter, cute as can be and just as sweet. But half the photos within the past year, hand on the hip. Most FB photos is girls, moms, younger friends have this common thing. ?!#%@$. It is real. Can't figure it out.

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  23. Ridiculous trend..posers...

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  24. I understand that some of these commenters (and many others) do it for comfort or whatnot, but I think the original poster has a point because this has been trending just over the past five years or so. It's generational thing. If you're young enough, you won't feel like you're doing it for any reason except where to put your hands, because that's what you see in the media and that's what you know.
    I honestly do believe the real reason is to look skinnier. If it makes you feel better, fine! But I agree that you don't need to look three pounds skinnier to appreciate a photo. So many times I've hated a photo of myself, only to find it again a year later and love it. I've done a few hand on hip moments, but not many (I'm a bigger girl so I take what I can get!)...I'm so grateful I never did it when traveling to a new, majestic, or gorgeous place, because the point of the picture is to mark me there and admire the landscape or monument, not to put the focus on me.
    I'm probably quietly judgmental, but when I see hand-on-hip photos in my news feed, I usually feel sad for the girl that she feels her worth is in her body and not in her lovely gift of time or sharing moments.
    -a 30-something, decently traveled, life-loving, over-perfection lady.

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  25. Ok. I'm 68 years old and just started trying this pose because my arms look too fat when flat down my side. It works! So what's the big deal people? Geez!

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