Will ‘Hipsters Have to Pee’ Become the New Duckface?

No. It will not. It’s a story of numbers. Right now, 64% of men and a 81% of women automatically make the duckface in photographs. The duckface rate jumps to an astounding 97% for both genders when holding red plastic beverage cups or bottles of Smirnoff Ice. Public education programs like antiduckface.com are hardly putting a dent in the figures, and there’s now a very real risk that this colossally stupid facial expression will become the photographic norm by 2013. Genuine smiles will be seen as freakish aberrations. You refuse to pucker your lips like some kind of kissing fish? Are you trying to be cute? But Hipsters Have to Pee is still an amusing look at the lengths people go to look interesting in photos and do something different than just standing there like some kind of jerk. And it makes some sense. If America’s Next Top Model has taught us anything, it’s that for a photo to be engaging, it needs tension, and there’s no tension more authentic than having to pee really, really bad.

The site’s creators are on to something. Pigeon toes, wobbly knees, and hunched posture were once the hallmarks of Pull-Up-clad toddlers and people who underestimated the line for the Porta-Johns at the monster truck pull. Now, countless fashion models and those seeking to convey urban nonchalance are adopting the same silhouette, yielding billions of pixels of people looking like they desperately need to shake the dew off the lily.

High-fashion has embraced the ugly-is-pretty ethos for decades, with models rolling their shoulders forward and contorting their bodies in ways that dare observers to call it anything other than beautiful. Anyone who can’t see the value in a flawless model’s sincere attempts to temporarily equal the genetic playing field, Harrison Bergeron-style, is clearly some kind of philistine, or so the thinking goes.

And so we have models pretending to have to pee, or perhaps going that extra step toward authenticity and downing a liter of Evian before the shoot. The trend won’t last, but I fear what comes next.

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