Okay, let’s get real: Thirst traps are the gifts that just keep on giving. Whether your intent behind taking the thirst trap is because you want to post it on the ‘gram, send to your S.O., or just keep it for your own viewing pleasure, they honestly slay.
But for those of you who have gone through the process of literally contorting your back in the name of landing a sexy pose, you know how hard it is to find the right angle. So, to help, we’ve consulted with some Instagram influencers who advised on some tips and tricks for sexy poses and selfie ideas for when you want to show off.
Trust, you’re beautiful as your own self, but if you want some pointers to accentuate your curves and features in all the best places, right this way…
First, let’s start with some inspo that you, yourself, can consider Grade-A examples:
Touch yourself with kindness every day. Gently stroke your stomach when it's full & say thank you for the ways it shows up for you. Slather yourself in oils & lotions and sink into how wonderful the softness feels. Light candles and play Lizzo and wear lingerie and dance for yourself in the mirror. Give yourself exactly the kind of orgasm you'd want someone else to give you. Touch your body without shame or embarrassment or thoughts of it needing to be something else. Put your hand over your heart when things feel like too much & tell yourself that you're safe. Give yourself a hug before bed & tell yourself that it will be okay. Touch yourself with kindness every day - you're in this relationship for the long haul. 💜💙💚🌈🌞 • [Image description: Megan kneeling on a white sandy beach with blue sea and sky behind her, she's wearing a pink floral swimsuit while gently touching her face with her eyes are closed. The picture is somewhere between thirst trap and pure body peace] #selfcare #selfkindness #bodyacceptance #goldenconfidence
A post shared by Megan Jayne Crabbe 🐼 (she/her) (@bodyposipanda) on Mar 21, 2020 at 1:39pm PDT
My room is not always clean and I hate putting my laundry away. My hair is amazing and it is a ton of work so I wear it up. I talk to my cat like a baby and I whine like I am a baby when I am on my period. 😹 I have a belly when I sit and I have a belly when I stand. I have my best ideas in the shower and I take on too many projects. You can ask me to go to target or IKEA at any moment and I will go. I am (brutally) honest. I love trash tv. I hate making appointments. I will help you start a business and quit your job even if you don’t ask me to. ✨ I love robes and candles and soft clothing. I will save you from a bug but I am going to scream while I do it. My body has carried me through good times and bad and I am grateful for who I am. I am an introvert thriving online and at home. 🧑🏾💻 Happy Monday! Tell us about yourself 👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾 #virtualfitness #selfcare #laundryday #liveauthentic #dietculturedropout #authenticself #bodypositive #bodypositvebabe #bodypositiveblogger #vbo #bodykindness#bodyneutrality #bodyimage #ihaveembraced #ichooseme
A post shared by Lauren | Barre | NASM CPT (@laurenleavellfitness) on Aug 10, 2020 at 9:22am PDT
Jeep Safari... But Make It Fashion!! #JeepSafari #Travel #Voyage #TravelPhotography #Maspalomas #Africa #GranCanaria #CanaryIsand #BlackTravel #BlackTravelFeed #BlackTravelGram #BlackTravelJourney #TravelGram
A post shared by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀𝐎 𝐋 𝐀 𝐊 𝐄 𝐌 𝐈 (@__olakemi__) on Aug 11, 2020 at 6:04am PDT
To my body... I’m sorry for all of the things I said to you. The days I uttered I hated you. The hours I longed for you to be different. The moments I thought you weren’t enough. You see, this relationship will never be perfect. Even on our best days there may be parts that are harder to accept than others. We will have good moments and we will have bad moments, but I am so thankful for you. I am thankful for the life you give me and the places you take me. Thank you for being you.
A post shared by Rae Everyday (@raeannlangas) on Aug 30, 2020 at 8:53pm PDT
Now, for some tips:
1. Shoot from an angle.
Instagram influencer Stephanie Yeboah recommends taking photos at an angle as opposed to face-on to create a sense of intimacy. “I prefer a high-above angle, as it’s easier to fit in the silhouette of your body,” she says.
We’re often left out of the conversation surrounding sexuality and desire, unless it’s a topic involving fetishism. When we ‘dare’ go out in public, we’re stared at, laughed at, and people take secret photos of us to laugh at on the internet. When we post up photos of our bodies in anything less than a slip dress, we’re told we are ‘promoting obesity’ and ‘posting photos online for attention’. I’m tired of it. Plus sized bodies deserved to be normalised in ALL areas, and not just acceptably fat people. Not just white or white-passing fat people. Not just fat women that carry weight in all the ‘good’ areas. All bodies. All the time. ——— We shouldn’t have to be scared of looking like everyone else for fear of someone taking secret photos of us. We should be able to refer to our bodies as attractive and sexy without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. We need to continue to challenge and change the narrative of what is considered sexy and attractive. We need to upset the established order (a Joker quote, BUT IT APPLIES) and completely dismantle the status who of what bodies are ‘supposed’ to look like. ______ I’m tired of living in a world where certain bodies are dehumanised, shamed, humiliated and policed for daring to live unapologetically. For daring to wear a bikini or nice underwear. For daring to just exist in general. I’m tired of having to justify my existence. At this point, it may as well be a full time job with benefits and 38 days holiday. We deserve to just...exist in peace. Leave us alone. Please. Rant courtesy of some fat shaming BS I saw on Twitter earlier. x _______ Underwear - @gabifresh X @playfulpromises #gabifreshxplayfulpromises
A post shared by Stephanie Yeboah (@stephanieyeboah) on Apr 17, 2019 at 11:11am PDT
2. Your legs are way more powerful than you’d think.
A post shared by JESSICA Z WU (@jessicazwu) on Sep 13, 2018 at 7:12pm PDT
Jessica Wu, a stylist/producer and model, explains that alternating leg stances in a few different shots can help your odds of finding the ~perfect~ snap in your camera roll upon review. “I tend to alternate my leg stances a few different times to get multiple angles—having a wider stance, putting one leg out to the side or in front of the other, and standing with your feet together are usually flattering,” she explains.
3. Arch! That! Back!
A post shared by SAM FEHER (she/her) (@samanthafeher) on May 29, 2018 at 1:47pm PDT
It makes your booty pop while accentuating your waist, explains Sam Feher, Cosmopolitan’s own editorial assistant and an Instagram influencer in her own right. “In this photo, I’m angling my upper body away from the camera too, so it makes my butt/thighs look thicker than my waist, which is fuay [ed note: this means hot].”
4. Utilize windows and mirrors.
A post shared by Stephanie Yeboah (@stephanieyeboah) on Jun 24, 2018 at 10:15am PDT
Windows and mirrors are your best friends! Says Yeboah, “I find posing in front of—or on the side of—a window with the sun streaming in creates an almost ethereal glow that promotes an innocent-yet-sexy aesthetic. Investing in an oversize white shirt helps too.”
5. Stand on your tiptoes.
“It makes your legs look ridiculously long,” says Feher. Another way of elongating your gams? Tilt the photo forward from the bottom. Wearing shoes that are the same color as your legs or pants also helps with the illusion that your legs are 30 percent longer.
Can you determine someone’s health by looking at them? Nope. Should you comment or criticize a woman’s body? Nope. A woman’s body, weight, size, etc is nobody’s damn business besides her own. I saw a comment thread on one of my friends photos yesterday that made me so angry and sad. A woman commented saying that she was promoting obesity and all I could think was really?! These type of comments are STILL being made? Clearly, the work is not done and it will never be done. I will continue to show up as a woman in a larger body (while recognizing I am still more accepted by our society as a size 12) to show women that your size does not give you a label in life. You can be an athlete, a mother, a friend, a sister. We are so much more than our bodies. I will share outfit details on my story :) #teamnike @nikelosangeles
A post shared by Rae Everyday (@raeannlangas) on Jun 20, 2020 at 11:43am PDT
6. Shoot from below.
A post shared by Stephanie Yeboah (@stephanieyeboah) on Feb 26, 2019 at 10:17am PST
It makes you look taller! While common sense might seem like it’s better to shoot from above, Feher says that photos angled above can look wonky. Yeboah agrees, saying that she prefers to shoot from below to give the impression of height.
7. Take selfies from under your face to accentuate your jawline.
A post shared by SAM FEHER (she/her) (@samanthafeher) on Mar 23, 2019 at 2:41pm PDT
While this might’ve previously been thought of as a double-chin angle, if you jut your chin out dramatically, it makes your jawline look so sharp it could carve stone.
8. Natural lighting is always best.
The only thing that compares or could come in second is a ring light, says Feher, but if you don’t feel like having to travel with a whole other accessory, natural lighting is your best friend.
9. Golden-hour shots are a lot easier when you plan ahead.
Explains influencer Shaunda Necole, the best lighting is just as the sun is rising or during “golden hour” right before the sun sets. She recommends the Golden Hour app, which allows you to input your location to find the exact window of time for optimal photo-taking.
10. To make something look less pose-y, stick a hand in your pocket.
A post shared by JESSICA Z WU (@jessicazwu) on Oct 22, 2018 at 2:57pm PDT
Wu recommends putting one hand on your waist or pocket or breaking your leg. Plus, less pressure about where to put your hands! I, for one, never know ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
11. Posture is everything.
Sorry to sound like a school marm for a hot sec, but just remember that you’re here for a crash course in thirst-trap photography, so bear with me. Stick your collarbones out for any photos so your spine is aligned as straight as possible for the best pic.
12. When it comes to sexy poses, it’s all about the hip tilt.
A post shared by SAM FEHER (she/her) (@samanthafeher) on Aug 12, 2018 at 9:22am PDT
Putting one foot in front of the other makes your hips tilt and can make you look curvier while also elongating your legs, says Feher. “That’s my go-to because it’s fast, looks natural, and you can pull it off in the MoMA without getting anyone else in your photo.”
13. Always hype up your photographer, especially if you’re feeling any insecurity or embarrassment for asking them to take 30 bajillion photos.
“My tip for getting over the embarrassment is to ALWAYS hype up my friend first and be like, ‘You look like sex, lemme get a pic,’ and then they’re so embarrassed that they make me do it, even if that was my original goal all along,” says Feher. You get to boost someone else’s self-esteem, take cool photos of your friends, and get the photos you wanted all along. It costs literally nothing! Adds Wu, “If you focus on the person taking your photo and don’t get distracted by people walking by, you’ll definitely get better photos! I usually ignore people who snoop or take photos and just focus on the camera.”
14. For brighter colors, go with C1 on VSCO.
For the trendy orangey one that’s in right now, Feher suggests Lightroom presets from your favorite influencers. What better way to skip right to the finish line than by using an influencer-approved filter?
15. Don’t bother importing your DSLR pics into your phone just to edit with VSCO.
“Lightroom is better for camera/DSLR photos,” says Feher, whereas she prefers editing in VSCO for iPhone photos.
Try Lightroom desktop for free here.
16. Chipped mani?
No problem. There’s no need to spend money getting a new manicure or taking the time to remove all your polish when there’s an easy, free fix. Feher says to use the color picker/airbrush tool on Facetune to fill in the spots where you’re missing color.
17. Find the right framing from the start.
Feher says one of her rules for photos is that she won’t zoom or crop. “It makes the picture look weird and fucks with the quality,” she explains. So it’s worth taking the time to figure out the perfect framing before shooting, so you don’t have to do too much work fixing anything afterward.
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