Social Question

flutherother's avatar

Why do people stick their tongues out when being photographed?

Asked by flutherother (22454 points ) December 9th, 2012

Especially younger people. What is your theory as to why they do this.

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13 Answers

ucme's avatar

Porno shoot?

bookish1's avatar

Are you serious? How young are we talking about? It’s just being silly and irreverent. Remember bunny ears? How stupid does that look. But when you’re a certain age, it seems like a good idea.

flutherother's avatar

I was thinking of anyone but people in their teens or early twenties seem most prone to do it. I wondered why they think it is a good idea, what the psychology of it is. Is it always done for the same reasons and what are those reasons?

Unbroken's avatar

Weird never thought of this. I did read that a tongue is indicative of health. Like childbearing sturdy hips, clear skin, healthy full hair and nails. So maybe we are subconsciously trying to show that off. Though it is just a hare brained idea.

Symbeline's avatar

Sticking the tongue out or making duck faces, I don’t get that either. Maybe they don’t like smiling? I hate smiling in photos, so I barely do. Don’t stick out my tongue or make puckered duck lips though, although perhaps those who do find it a good alternative for smiling. This way you can tell they’re in a good mood and all.

Sunny2's avatar

They object to being photographed?
The doctor said to stick out your tongue and say, “Ah.”?
To catch the first falling snowflakes?
To take the communion wafer?
They just ate a spoonful of bitters?

Coloma's avatar

Maybe it helps them concentrate. :-P

tom_g's avatar

Could it be that it’s a way to shift the power from the photographer to the photographed? When someone is taking a photo of you, you have little control over what you will look like in the photo. Likely, you’re concerned that you will look stupid or ugly. There’s uncertainty in that, and you’re likely to have little control over what happens to the photograph once it has been taken.
So, if you stick your tongue out or make that disgusting duck face, in a way you take some control back. You know you will look stupid – and you are saying that I have decided to look stupid and that’s how the photo will look.
It also might be a way of avoiding the inevitable judgments that will come from people viewing the photos. There will be no way for someone to think that you are trying to look good. You can’t be judged because you intentionally look like an asshole.

I could be wrong though.

Coloma's avatar

@tom_g Haha….a very complex theory you have there, only the mind of an intuitive could make such associations.

DominicX's avatar

Well, I only ever see it in goofy photos, it’s never something you’d do in a serious situation, they’re always party photos, etc. The only times I’ve ever stuck my tongue out in a photo I was already drunk, so…

burntbonez's avatar

A lot of times people don’t want to be photographed. They have to cooperate, but sticking out their tongues is a form of passive resistance.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I don’t know, but I’ve done it on occasion – usually just being silly. Not sure about taking power away from the photographer, considering I took this one. Never really gave it much thought though. It’s never a carefully planned picture.

McCool's avatar

It really depends on the person being photographed. As others have said, maybe they don’t want to be photographed, or perhaps they’re trying to be silly. Maybe they don’t know how to pose for a photo and their default is being silly and, well, :P

All I know is I prefer it to other faces. My younger cousin (7 y/o) in particular annoys me with the strange faces and poses he makes in an attempt to be cool. His favorite is to look angry/tough with bulgy eyes while posing in strange positions and giving hand signs. I yell at him, “give a good smile and look ADORABLE!”. But, I digress…

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