Smile don’t Pout! Lady Shredders lead the way

I HATE Pouting! I don’t care who says it’s fashionable, it looks stupid. For good reason is it otherwise known as the ‘Trout Pout’ or ‘Duck Face’. According to the The Concise Oxford Dictionary the definition of the word Pout is:

“To push the lips forward as an expression of displeasure or sulking”

Which would explain why the main image the word brings to mind is that of a sulking, petulant child sat on the floor with their arms crossed. Whether this is better or worse than the sultry, sexy look girls as young as 10 are going for when they do this is questionable.

What I do know is that if I had a child that is not the kind of image I would want them to grow up idolising and trying to replicate. That is not what I would like to see held up as the epitome of all a women can be. That it is nowhere near as engaging, inspiring and uplifting as a picture of a woman who is genuinely smiling because she is happy.

Yet before I condemn this ridiculous facial disfigurement completely let us try to understand WHY young girls, or in fact any women as it is by no any means only the U18s who have fully boarded this bandwagon, consider this an attractive look.

If you can believe it these are the least ridiculous reasons I could find:

  • It makes your lips look bigger
  • It makes your cheekbones look more pronounced
  • It gives you a cute and innocent appearance
  • It looks like you are blowing a kiss to the audience
  • It makes the subject feel confident and sexy to appear this way

Nope, I’m still none the wiser. I struggle to understand why any of these are particularly desirable and if it requires screwing your mouth up to appear like a taut anus to give you confidence then your issues go way beyond how you appear in a photo.

Phew now I’ve got my considerable angst on the subject of what I hate to see on social media off my chest let me tell you what I think is great. The real reason for this post.

I wanted to give a big thumbs up to all the Mountain biking ladies out there for the fantastic job they do providing a positive image of real women.There is nothing more engaging, inspiring and uplifting than a picture of a wind blown, mud splattered, bright eyed rider, with a huge grin on her face. Instagram is full of many such shots, often with a story underneath of the trials and tribulations of that day’s ride. Always with an uplifting caption telling how they conquered something new that day, had fun with their friends, explored somewhere new and what a blast they had doing it. Female mountain bikers are a strong and (mostly) positive bunch, this is one of the ways I think we can show the rest of the female population a thing or two about embracing who you are, the good and the bad.

Photo credit Rafal Skiendzielewski

I wish more women could be comfortable enough in their own skin not to hide behind another trend for making yourself look like what others consider cool or attractive. I’m sure some bikers are guilty of portraying themselves not quite honestly but I’m yet to see any of the riders I follow pouting on their bikes. The smiles we show are real. The happiness almost comes off the screen in waves. A genuine smile is infectious, it gives a little bit of happiness (albeit often tinged with jealousy) to the person who views it brightening up their day too.

When we show images like this to young girls we are telling them that it’s ok to not look perfect all the time. You can be accepted ‘liked’ and praised as you are. People want to see you doing stuff you enjoy, having fun, laughing with your friends and doing things that make you proud.

Photo credit to Mollie Leverton

You might look pretty (some may say) in your pouting selfie picture but that’s not an achievement, you were born that way. If you’re not taking a picture of you doing something that makes you happy, what do you want to remember it for? Why do you feel the need to share it with the world?

Let’s give the younger generation a fighting chane in this world by showing them how strong, free and independant women can be. We’ve come a long way from the days of being treated like a special ornament on the arm of some sexist male, lets keep it that way. Lady shredders keep up the good work!

When you smile, the whole world smiles back. Even if you do look like a crazy person!