Enough Already of the ‘I’m a Little Teapot’ Pose

Is it just me or are you ready to say enough already to the ‘I’m a little teapot” pose. As a photographer, active networker and social media addict the running theme during events goes something like this:

“Hello, would you like to get together for a picture?”

Immediately the hand goes on the hip and elbow swings to the side.

Cue the melody…

“I’m a little teapot, Short & Stout, Here is my handle…”

It’s no secret that in the world of business and online social media documenting events, for that matter everyday life, has become more popular than ever. Thank you to the unending stream of photograph on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. there is a over use of this popular pose. You know the hand-on-hip pose specifically overused by women and now our young girls. Some how this pose has been deemed by society as attractive and acceptable.  Maybe it’s just me but “Enough Already!”

My hypothesis:

The hand-on-hip pose or as I like to call it “the teapot pose” is not natural. It was not popular until the mid 2000’s. Rumor has it that it became popular with the TV show America’s Next Top Model with host Tyra Banks. If you look at red carpet photographs from mid 1990’s to early 2000’s, when the red carpet show became popular with E!’s “Live from the Red Carpet” and “Fashion Police” matriarch Joan Rivers, stars posed for pictures and it was rare to have a hand-on-hip and elbow swung open pose. The pose came to fruition with insight to the model industry televised to the masses. Models use exaggerated body positions to model the form, function and flow of the couture.

Photography & Socially:

In photography, it is typically appealing to photograph 3/4 of the face, deemed the “best side”. Ideally by standing and exaggerating your stance with your hand on your hip towards the viewer it would place your face at the “photographically best” angle. Now you need to take into account the lighting as well as what is in the frame, just the face. However the common misconception with this pose it that it will make us look confident, attractive, slimmer in the arm and hip area. What you may not realize by mimicking the popular pose is you could be coming across:

  • Aggressive: The hand on hip according to body language can be interpreted as aggressive.
  • Ridiculous: It is not a natural pose especially when exaggerated in photographs.
  • Larger: By placing you hands on your hip you are taking up more space. Also by placing your hand on your hip you are calling attention to that area and may make you look larger. Coming from a girl with hips… I don’t need any help.

I admit I have been guilty of posing for photographs this way as well. There are ways to pose without looking like half a “teapot”. Looking and feeling comfortable.

Tip: What to do with that arm?

  • Place your elbow at a 45-degree angle.
  • Place your hand in a pocket.
  • Place your hand gently on the front of the thigh and bend the elbow slightly.
  • Just relax the arm down.
  • Ladies, I carry a clutch, by placing the clutch in my outer hand it looks natural.

So please the next time you pose for a photograph swing your elbow back, release your hand and relax that arm down!

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AMC Photography Studios is located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Our service area is the greater Philadelphia area and we are available for destination assignments.

26 Summit Grove Ave., Suite 130, Bryn Mawr, Pa 19010