General Question

pallen123's avatar

Why do girls stick their tongues out in photos?

Asked by pallen123 (1514points) July 12th, 2010
75 responses
“Great Question” (16points)

I’m 40 years old and I’ve noticed that many girls/women in their teens and 20’s stick their tongues out in pictures. What’s the deal?

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rebbel's avatar

Now that is a good question!
Going to follow it.

aveffects's avatar

To make you think they have a personality

ShanEnri's avatar

I’m not sure, but my daughter is 19 and she doesn’t do this! I’ll ask her what she thinks though!

mrentropy's avatar

Because they are sassy! Sassss-say!

jfos's avatar

All I know is that it isn’t very tasteful.

aveffects's avatar

it means “i am too cool for this photo”

jfos's avatar

I think they do it to show that they and their buds are hanging out.

pallen123's avatar

@jfos How does it show that they’re hanging w/their buds?

pallen123's avatar

Taste buds?

jfos's avatar

@pallen123 My comment was tongue-in-cheek.

mrentropy's avatar

Maybe they got tired of the “puckered lips” and “puckered lips pushed to one side” poses.

jfos's avatar

Honestly, I think that pose is just the flavor of the week.

Arp's avatar

@mrentropy After that one comes the “do the peace sign even though i dont believe in anything it stands for because it is hip”

XOIIO's avatar

Well long toungues are good for some things…

Maybe it’s so we can check and see.

Chrissi85's avatar

It’s a self conscious thing, we feel weird being photographed so we do something silly. I usually swear, or make a peace sign. Can’t help it. There’s no need to be narky about it, it’s not a conspiracy y’know

Facade's avatar

Because girls like to do silly things, especially in photos. It’s ultimately done to attract attention. Just chuckle and move on.

SmashTheState's avatar

I think it’s a way of hiding what they consider to be insufficiently plump lips. Same as the lips-pursed-to-the-side pose which is so popular with young girls. Kinda like the way us fatties wear our shirts untucked in the belief it hides our disgusting walrus-like rolls of oily flab.

seekingwolf's avatar

I’m 20 and a lot of my friends do this. Way to ruin a good photo, IMO.

My guess is because they are trying to be “sexy” or “silly”. Still fails though.

jaytkay's avatar

You can’t strke a pose and look as sexy or beautiful as you want on command. But guaranteed you can look goofy on command. And you show some personality You win!

So yes, it’s self-consciousness.

That’s my theory. Regardless, no big deal, just a silly party thing.

seekingwolf's avatar

I much prefer it when people are genuine with their emotions in photos. If you’re happy, smile! If you’re feeling awkward, do a shy smile. It really does look so much better.

Whenever I see the “tongue stick out”...grr. It just looks very juvenile.
My other pet peeve is the “I-am-going-to-flick-off-every-camera-I-see” syndrome but that’s for a whole other topic, lol.

UScitizen's avatar

Anthropologically, it projects to prospective mates: ... My orifices are available to you.

poofandmook's avatar

I HATE that! I hate it almost as much as I hate the puckered lip pose and the peace/gang signs. I’d like to take all of them and all of the people who wear their pants just below their asscheeks and stick them all on an island until they learn how to be adults.


My best guess is to try and be sassy, but it’s just incredibly stupid.

BoBo1946's avatar

girls don’t take themselves serious like guys do! they are having fun!

ChocolateReigns's avatar

When my friends and I (I’m 13 btw) take pictures together, we’ll take a few serious, nice pics then go crazy and make faces. I stick my tongue out, bulge my cheeks out, and cross my eyes.

Aster's avatar

@poofandmook ”...all of the people who wear their pants just below their asscheeks and stick them all on an island until they learn how to be adults.”

Facade's avatar

@Aster @poofandmook But they’re not adults… they’re kids who just like to screw around and have fun

Aster's avatar

@Facade I honestly did not know that the boys who show their underwear were considered to be “children.” In fact, I would think it unusual to see a boy of , say, 10 doing it.
Let’s hope they’re high school graduates because, around here, you get sent to the principle’s office for it. Or for wearing bandanas. They have to think of Other ways to have fun.
Tough being a kid, huh?

poofandmook's avatar

@Facade: I know plenty of adults who do. One of which I used to work with, and she never, EVER EVER took a picture without the puckered lip/peace thing.

mrentropy's avatar

It would be an achievement to have a picture taken with puckered lips, sticking tongue out, doing the peace sign and flipping someone off.

wundayatta's avatar


I think I heard that there’s this new hair product that contains a lot of magnetized iron in it. A lot of girls are wearing tongue studs, and they constantly find their tongues being pulled out towards the top of their heads. I think the consumer product agency is looking into it.

Makes sense to me.

sliceswiththings's avatar

I believe it’s called the “funny” pose.

rebbel's avatar

It is suggested that some humans are in possession of a vomeronasal organ, just like snakes (and some other animals).
Maybe these girls are tasting their surroundings?

DominicX's avatar

I’m not going to read the other responses, because I’m not in the mood to blow a gasket right now. I’m just going to answer:

People stick their tongue out in photos because they’re being goofy. There is no other reason. I’ve done it. There’s a Facebook album taken at a New Year’s party where I’m sticking my tongue out in every other photo of me (I was also drunk, but you know…). Either way, it’s just for fun, it doesn’t make them “idiots” or any of that stupid judgmental crap.

But as I’ve learned, sometimes it’s acceptable to judge people based on their looks, but only if it isn’t the look you have. :eyeroll:

wundayatta's avatar

Come on, @DominicX, just work with us. You’ve provided a fine answer. No need for the attitude. We’ve got many fine answers here from the plausible to the implausible. Until more research is done, including research into whether the whole premise of the question reflects reality (probably not, in my opinion), no one will be able to answer the question with anything more than opinion, no matter how silly that opinion is. This question should be moved to the social section.

DominicX's avatar


Well, actually, I was just basing the attitude off the last question we had about this subject where most people had a pretty negative answer. I’m just tired of double standards where we can make all kinds of assumptions about people based on one small thing they do in a photo, but then there are other times where the same people will condemn someone else for even daring to make assumptions about them based on something superficial.

wundayatta's avatar

@DominicX Perhaps you should have read the thread first. I think this question has gotten the respect that is due to it. The answers are entirely enlightening and appropriate.

DominicX's avatar

Yeah, I’ve been reading it. Better than the last thread we had about this subject, but I’ll still never understand why people are so quick to condemn it. You don’t have to like the way it looks (I’m not saying it’s attractive, it really isn’t and if you saw my photos, you’d agree), but I’ll never understand the judgments made about it. It’s just one of those things…like popped collars and backwards and caps and stuff, things that it’s become acceptable to say indicate “douchebaggery” even without knowing the person.

MaryW's avatar

It is a way to be silly without looking ugly.

poofandmook's avatar

@DominicX: I just admit, it’s mostly the duckface that pisses me off. If I see a tongue sticking out AND a duckface from the same person, the tongue automatically becomes an extension of the duckface.

Kraigmo's avatar

I haven’t noticed the tongue sticking out thing.

But I have noticed, they like to purse their lips as if putting on makeup. I don’t know which girl started this, but now thousands of ‘em do it.

wilma's avatar

The only problem I have with it is when you are doing a group photo, and someone does this. Everyone else is smiling and looking attractive and then one person is looking like a goofball.
It can ruin the picture for someone who wants a less goofy photo. Picture this on grandpa’s desk at work.
I say save the tongues and bunny ears for last and do one silly picture.

seekingwolf's avatar


bottom line: if you don’t want to be perceived as immature or dumb, then don’t do things that make you look dumb. People will judge you off your looks. It’s life.

Do I think someone who constantly sticks out their tongue on Facebook is a possibly juvenile person? You betcha. So shoot me.

UScitizen's avatar

This really is not juvenile. It is much more adolescent. See my answer above.

mrentropy's avatar

@ubersiren Thanks. I’m going to spend all day tomorrow doin’ the “duckface.”

DominicX's avatar


Yes, I know, I just don’t get why some people have to judge for things like this, because obviously not everyone does, but enough people do for me to notice it. Oh well, some assumptions are important for certain people to make, this is just one that I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about.

poofandmook's avatar

@DominicX: As far as the duckface goes, it’s phony. And I don’t like phony people.

Facade's avatar

@poofandmook What makes it phony?

filmfann's avatar

If it’s a bad picture of them, well, they wanted it to look stupid! Pressure is off!

poofandmook's avatar

@Facade: Because all the duckface does is say, “I’m trying REALLY REALLY hard to look badass”... and that’s phony.

Facade's avatar

@poofandmook “Duckface” is the opposite of badass…

poofandmook's avatar

@Facade: For some, maybe. But I personally know three separate people who do the duckface to look badass. 80% of the time it’s accompanied with the sideways peace sign.

Maybe the duckface means something different out here in Jersey than it does elsewhere? Because here, it almost always means someone’s trying to look sassy.

ShanEnri's avatar

I asked my daughter and she said “simple, they think it’s cute.” I guess it would be that simple!

poofandmook's avatar

definitely not cute. lol

mrentropy's avatar

After looking through some photos (thanks again, @ubersiren ) and watching an old episode of Seaquest DSV I’m beginning to think that some people just naturally have that “duckface” when they smile.

wlly8rundell's avatar

yehh, i fucken reckon, i think its only good if ya got a tongue piercing or somthin

georgia_girl1967's avatar

it is a monkey see monkey do kind of thing

gothic54's avatar

The young girls don’t KNOW how dirty it is. “back in the day”...It was only used in porn videos. They extended the tounge to catch…well, just listen to the song “Skeet Skeet Skeet”, and you will catch my drift. After explaining this to my teen and her freinds, thank goodness they stopped. They had NO idea what it meant.

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Poopypants's avatar

Apparently it is yet another “code” they use to communicate something under their parents radar. It means “yes I give head and will take it on the tongue and will swallow” When they do the “kissypoo” look it means they do not take it in the mouth. When they do the tongue sideways it means they give head but do not swallow”

XOIIO's avatar

@Poopypants Where the hell do you get that from? XD

bobby78's avatar

Better then duck face.

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iliketocum's avatar

I like it!

meaning's avatar

I just asked my 13 year old son if he sees this at school and he said yes. I asked why they do it and he says because they are stupid but think it’s cute and he hates it:)

Sandra25's avatar

In Brazil this means a sexual signal that you’re available.

tsim100's avatar

Thanks for your comments on this topic. I have noticed that my three juvenile daughters are posing in pictures with these silly faces. I wondered what it meant and I totally understand the different meanings that the poses could project. Not trying to knock any adult from posing this way, but I really don’t think its appropriate for preteen and teenage girls to do because I feel that it does send a sexual message.

lateharvest's avatar

My niece, 22, has posted pics of herself and her friends on my FB, with their tongue hanging all the way down to the bottom of their chin, or stuck to the side . It seems they are self concious about their looks, and a bad photo can be blamed on the comedy. I delete these disgusting pics…would like to have images of the girls looking normal, but this is not cute or interesting. I think it’s a screen to hide insecurity. It’s sad for young women to portray their personalities in this manner.

filmfann's avatar

@lateharvest A thoughtful answer. Welcome to Fluther!

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