Paleo Retiree writes:
Why are so many young women these days going around with their mouths wide open in an expression that seems to be half shock-of-amazement, half giant-smile? I have few memories of this particular expression playing much of a role in the culture in the 1990s, and none whatsoever of girls and young women putting it on in the far-distant days of my youth. Where does it come from? And why has it managed to establish itself as a standard part of today’s stock of poses and expressions?
There’s a little nudity in this posting. It’s of a non-grotty sort, but even so: Click on “Continue Reading” only if you’re someplace where your boss ain’t.
Performers are doing it:
Ads are celebrating it:
Youngsters sharing selfies can’t resist trying it on:
That last pic made me wonder if the expression might have something to do with the kind of giddiness many women seem to feel as they walk into a party, or if and when they strip off in public. A minute with Google Image Search turned up a lot of examples:
Another hunch I played with was whether the expression might have something to do with the classic “cum in my mouth” pose from porn.
But no, I don’t think that’s quite right. The new open-mouthed pose doesn’t seem to have a lot to do with a woman’s eagerness to fulfill herself by pleasing her lord and master — heaven forbid! Instead, it seems to have to do with a nearly out-of-control, exuberant pleasure in self.
Hmm, pleasure in self … Women beaming with high-on-mood-drugs, hyper-assertive self-amazedness … A general aura of “I’m feeling grrrrrrreat about myself!!!!” … Could it be? My mind raced to what was now occurring to me as a likely source:
Of course, I have no idea if “Sex and the City” is really the ultimate origin of this facial expression, but maybe the show played some role in establishing it as an acceptable and fun way for young women to show off. After all, “SATC” — love it or hate it — has proven been a major culture-shaper in a lot of ways.
Can anyone trace this expression back further than “SATC”? Or to something different entirely? Are our younger visitors even aware that women didn’t always pull this face? Especially curious to hear what our frequent visitor Agnostic has to say.