Let me set the scene for you: You're a millennial (just like me) and someone points their phone at you to take a picture. Suddenly, you forget everything there is to know about posing/what it's like to have a body.
Then, in a panic, you go with your old standby for the 19,344,587th time:
At what age will I stop throwing up the peace sign?
Sound familiar? Well, you're not alone, and Christine Buzan is here to help you shake your old, millennial posing ways.
Christine is a fellow millennial, posing expert, and coach with over a decade's worth of experience. She recently went viral on TikTok for her series calling out the poses millennials need to retire once and for all and providing helpful updates.
"What most people don't realize is that just like different fashion trends — for instance, skinny jeans and side parts — come in and out of style, posing for pictures is the exact same way," Christine explains in one of her videos.
"The two biggest mistakes I most frequently see [when people take photos] are a lack of confidence and visible tension," Christine told BuzzFeed. "There is nothing 'natural' about posing for photos, so it’s only normal that people feel awkward or tense in front of the camera. However, if you’re uncomfortable in photos, it definitely shows."
"It may sound cheesy," she continued, "but the best way to build confidence is through practice. The more you’re posing for photos, the easier it becomes, and the easier it becomes, the more you’ll feel confident doing it."
So, without further ado, here are some modern updates to the poses we millennials hold so dear:
First, Christine points out that millennials should stop taking all of their photos from a super-high camera angle. Although this might reduce the appearance of a double chin and make your face look slimmer, it also "makes your body look completely disproportionate."
Instead, try and get comfortable with taking photos at a slightly lower angle. You don't even need to go that low to start! Christine gives an example shot from collarbone level.
Next up is the "teapot pose" or "skinny arm" pose (I'm REALLY guilty of this one). To quote Christine, "It's not 2010 anymore! And your value as a human is so much more than just trying to make your arm look skinny in a photo."
To bring this pose into the 2020s, Christine offers a few modifications to help make it look more relaxed. One option is putting your thumb in your pocket and pushing your bent elbow backward in the frame.
Or, if pockets aren't your thing, you can place your hand on your thigh.
Another option is flipping your hand placement upside down (while still keeping the elbow pushed back).
You can also take both of your hands and put them in your back pockets.
Or, last but not least, "the Sippy Cup" pose with both hands on your waist!
We're not done. It's time to update a true millennial classic: the duck lips.
Who's still doing duck lips in 2022, you might be wondering? "The shocking answer is a lot of people are," Christine says. "In fact, some people are even doing it for professional photos."
Here are some alternatives to give you a modern pout that isn't quite so duck-like. The key to getting a perfect pout, according to Christine, is "figuring out the exact amount of space you need between your lips, and then relaxing your face." One way to do this is to say the word "apple" in a relaxed, whisper-y way, and let your lips fall naturally.
Another way is to take a page from the Olsen twins and say the word "prune." You can focus on the "ooo" part of the word to create a more heart-shaped pout...
...Or focus on the "nnne" ending of the word to give you a similar pout to "apple."
Me jotting down every single one of these tips so my IG can finally look like it's from this century:
When asked why she thinks millennials are still stuck on the same old poses, Christine told BuzzFeed, "I think it has a lot to do with the relationship we had with photos in our childhood. As millennials, our upbringing was defined by rapid technological change. As someone born in 1989, I remember growing up with disposable and 35mm film cameras, to getting a digital camera with extremely limited space, to low-resolution flip phone photos, all the way to the iPhone 13 Pro that I create my content with now."
"On the other hand, Gen Z grew up native to our digital world. They understand that photos can easily be retaken, and that there’s endless amounts of space available to store them. They’re more relaxed in photos and willing to experiment."
The main thing that Christine wants everyone to remember when it comes to nailing a great photo is that "posing is SO personal. What may work for one person may not for another. So, it’s really important to find what works best for your body and your personal style of presentation."
However, with that in mind, here are five universal tips Christine provided to help anyone look more photogenic:
"Come from a place of confidence. Even if you have to fake it! Dig deep and think of a time you felt like your most confident, bold, and authentic self. This will translate in your photos.
Stand up straight. Imagine that an invisible string is pulling your head toward the ceiling, and roll your shoulders back.
Place your weight on one leg. This gives your pose more fluidity and looks more natural.
Bend your limbs. There’s a rule in posing, 'if it bends, bend it.' Even a slight bend, or keeping your limbs relaxed will make you look more comfortable.
Push your forehead toward the camera. It may sound silly, but this tip elongates the neck, reduces a double chin, and makes you look more connected to the camera."