• Fri, Feb 8 2013

Pretty Girls Making Ugly Faces: There’s No Shame In Bad (Really Bad) Photos

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Pretty girls making ugly faces” is a relatively self-explanatory meme making the rounds this week. Like all things bizarre, unimportant and mildly entertaining on the Internet, it started on Reddit. The blog Pleated Jeans has a nice roundup of pretty girl making an ugly face photos here.

So what do we make of this meme? Carrie said it made her laugh, but she thought there was something sexist or “off” about it. I think it’s great. What better way to show that a) there’s a fine line between “pretty” and “ugly” and b) anyone can take a bad photo?

Because — admit it — we’ve all seen photos of ourselves looking like this:

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And it’s usually unintentional — caught unawares in the background of a party shot, snapped mouth-open in the middle of a conversation, making the wrong face at the wrong time during a group shot.

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My friend Rachel and I used to call these hideous photo doppelgangers Ol’ Shapeless Face (her) and Ol’ Hook Nose (me). Where did they come from? I saw myself in the mirror every morning. How could that monstrous thing also be my face?

The era of Facebook multiplies the ugly pictures issue. Friends who look cute in a shot themselves — or who just hate you — might post your hook-nosed double-chinned shapeless-face photo for all to see, and then … Well, and then, who cares?

That’s what the pretty girls making ugly faces meme says to me.

We are all capable of making ugly faces. Making an ugly face in a photo doesn’t make you “ugly” in general. And it follows that getting your ugly mug caught on camera (intentionally or not) shouldn’t be something to worry about. As Amy Poeler says:

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P.S. Here’s my contribution:

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I’m sure I could go much, much uglier, but this is what a quick Facebook photo sweep yielded.

 

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