Though the generation seems to have been fond of the pose for a few years now, influencer Georgia Costello (@strawberrymilkmob) just recently called it out on TikTok. Now, the clip has well over 1.1 million views. It sparked discussion about how popular “scrunch face” has actually become.
In her Oct. 25 post, Costello explains that there are various “phases” a girl’s face goes through while posing for photos on social media. The influencer then runs through many of the common facial expressions they tend to make on camera, including multiple angles of the puckered-up kissy face.
Finally, she recreates one that she’s been seeing a lot more of lately, which involves a forced smile, scrunched-up nose and exaggerated wink.
“I can’t really do it in the cute way that some of these girls are doing it,” Costello admits in the clip before making the face one more time and laughing to herself. “But this is what it is.”
Costello didn’t actually name the trend in her post, but that didn’t seem to matter. Plenty of commenters instantly knew what she was talking about just by watching her face.
“YOURE SO RIGHT OMG,” commented @emily3llis.
“it’s the ‘im having so much fun’ pose,” said @dobbby1234.
“I didn’t even realize I was buying into a trend,” confessed @ryannstrngflw.
According to Insider, this quirky new photo trend is most commonly referred to as”scrunch face.” It can be achieved by emulating “the same face you make if you smell something terrible but are also having a blast.”
Much like the duck face popularized by millennials, scrunch face is very much a sign of the times since Gen Zers have been doing it all over TikTok.
Some influencers, like Addison Rae, have become well-known for it.
Will it stick around for the long haul like the iconic peace sign of the 1960s? We’ll have to wait and see.
There have been plenty of other photo poses that have gone from trendy to outdated over the years. When the duck face started fading from popularity during the mid-2010s, the “fish gape” replaced it for a time. This pose involved downcast eyes, parted lips and a melancholy look.
Similarly, the “dissociative pout” had its day. Its hallmarks include a glazed-over look of sadness coupled with full, pouty lips.
Vox actually wrote about the rise of scrunch face in 2020, though the term for it hadn’t yet been coined. In fact, the outlet described it at the time as just one of the many “TikTok faces” we now see on the app, which are often just Gen Z’s “earnest attempts at looking cute.”
The comedy TikToker Brittany Tomlinson seemed to agree despite not understanding it herself.
“TikTok has such a different form of thirst trap than Instagram or Twitter,” Tomlinson told Vox. “There’s this hyperfixation on being a cute little baby. Like, why? I don’t get it. It’s like, ma’am, you have taxes to pay.”
Then again, exaggerated facial expressions — whether or not they make sense — are a huge part of TikTok’s appeal.
“On TikTok, everyone loves facial expressions for some reason because it’s quite a young audience and you have to really be emotive and have it go with the music and stuff,” Tomlinson added. “So everyone does all these crazy faces; like, sticking their tongue out is a big thing as well. I guess it’s just translated into photos.”
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