I have commented before on an extremely annoying standard pose employed by many models on Etsy: Looking up in mock wonder at the stupid thing you placed on your own head moments before you took the photo.
I have never understood what women think they’re conveying by striking this pose. I suppose they think it says, “I have a childlike wonder for all things.” I think it says, “I have a short term memory problem.”
Beyond not being able to understand the point of this posturing, I can’t imagine where it came from. Almost every listing shows a winsome young woman unable to come to grips with the thing she just put on her own head. But where did it start? Where did people get the idea that not being able to look at the camera is communicating anything other than painful shyness or sociopathy?
Well, I may have found the answer.
These are the women of Etsy.
They blog about a variety of super cute and super important stories and things, probably while chewing on a fun pen and wearing glasses with no lenses. Their official Etsy portraits reveal a myriad of ways to not look at the camera, or pretend they were caught off-guard.
We just happened to catch Chappell when she was lost in thought, smiling to herself in a giant cowl, just like every day at Etsy.
On this particular day, she was so engrossed thinking about shredding old quilts to make hamster bedding that she never even heard the photographer coming!
It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. You see, Chappell is missing a sternocleidomastoid muscle after an unfortunate mishap with a statement necklace, and has to sit with her fist under her jaw to keep her head from lolling to one side.
Julie gets the ball rolling by looking up and to the leftt. She was going to look up and to the right, but Jane called her the night before and they worked it out.
I’m not sure what Julie is looking at up there, but whatever it is, it certainly is making her feel all cute and giggly.
What do you think it could be?
a) The Kate Bosworth cotton commercial
b) A flyer for a new Farmer’s Market in TriBeCa
c) Her Care Bear backpack
d) A parakeet mirror and bell
Jane, as agreed, looks up and to the right.
It’s not as fun to look to the right as it is to look to the left, but Jane isn’t really going for dorky glamour.
No, she’s working that corn fed mid-west gal in the big city smile, just marveling at how big the buildings are, and how nice New Yorkers kin be, iff’n you give ‘em a chance.
Christine shows us an entirely different way not to look at the camera. She doesn’t find any of this fun, she’s too busy thinking about the water table and the fact that pygmy goats will be extinct in another 200 years if we don’t stop farming baby carrots. How can anyone smile in a world like this?
Oh she tries. She wears a funny mustache necklace and a quirky patchwork shirt, and everyone appreciates her efforts to be lighthearted. She even manages to get half a smile on one side of her face. And in a world where some people can’t even get organic juices, that’s no small feat.
Oh God. Isn’t it always the way?
You wear your nicest shrug, you put in your feather hair extensions, and then the staff photographer comes along and takes your official Etsy portrait right when you’re drinking out of your giant whimsy cup!
“It just all happened so fast, I didn’t even have a second to put my chai down! Oh Chad, you are such a booger! I am totally going to get you at the next Sadie Hawkins day!”
Cheer up, Danielle! I mean, it could have been worse! You could have been looking down at your pants or something!
Lincoln, if that is her real name, showcases a brand new way to not look at the camera by pretending to look down at her pants or something.
I like to imagine she’s just urinated where she’s standing, and is wondering how hard it’s going to be to get it out of her liederhosen.
Alison shows Jane how it’s done by looking to the right with such a gooberface that she completely sweeps her for Zooey Deschanel adorkable points.
A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR THE LADIES
Not Looking at the camera isn’t just a girl’s game anymore! Of course, the male version isn’t so much whimsy and wonder as it is a serious way to say, Hey bro, way too busy to stop for pictures right now. For real dude, on a deadline. I gotta get this piece about repurposing Nespresso pods into editorial before they run with Jane’s piece about how cool it is to look up and to the right.