Sunday 27 November 2016

Duck Face

I learned something last week from a bunch of young people and I can’t believe that I’ve never heard of it before.

I am talking about the duck face, an expression that is used by people, usually females, to appear sexy. I know that some women do this, but I have always called it the trout pout.

The idea that the woman concerned seductively pushes out here lips as if she is about to kiss you. The young man who pointed it out, showed me numerous examples, mainly on his dating phone app, Tinder, with most women standing there holding a phone, having taken a selfie in the mirror, from above while shaping their body such that they appear to be thinner.

He moaned about it because having looked at so many duck faces, he couldn’t actually tell how attractive the women really were.

What has happened to the world?

In the past, photographs of women used to show them with an attractive natural looking smile on their faces in a largely natural pose. Personally I would like to see a woman smiling or laughing in a natural pose than to see her pouting her lips with her hand on her hip and her legs crossed in a kind of surreal posture that looks like a human teapot.

If I were young, free and single I wouldn’t want to date a woman whose only photo made her look weird. Imagine meeting her in a bar based solely on a duck face photo; I probably wouldn’t recognise her unless she pouted and then I’d expect her first word to be “QUACK!”.

I blame the cult of celebrity.

Many actresses use the trout pout and the same pose when they are on the red carpet at some stupid award ceremony. In fact, it’s not just photographs. A lot of actresses pout at every opportunity when acting in a movie or a TV programme. Imagine a scene in a restaurant and the leading man is chatting to his leading lady. As she listens to his romantic words, she pouts like a trout as listens – after all, she has to look good, doesn’t she? I would love it if a waiter came up at that point and said “We have two specials today; duck bill and trout lips”.

Worse, it seems that celebrities are taking this a step further and actually "enhancing their lips”, making them plumper by injecting them with an expensive and horrific chemical to do this. One of the main reasons, I believe, is an attempt to make them look younger and more seductive, particularly as they get older.

I’m sad about this because I always believe that people of both sexes should grow old gracefully. The problem is for female actresses as they get older, they are overlooked for parts as film makers choose younger and more attractive women in their place.

This is ridiculous.

The only ugly people you see in films and television series are bad guys or evil people. There are a couple of American television shows that I watch regularly and everybody in them is totally attractive – even the older people.

We seem to be losing the realism. Why can’t characters be portrayed by real people?

Don’t get me wrong, there are some ugly actors, but the latest trend seems to be that the actors portraying ordinary people have to be beautiful people.

No wonder young women are resorting to pouting their lips to look like Donald Duck.

When I was a kid, I did briefly want to be an actor. I appeared in a couple of junior school plays, in particular, Sleeping Beauty where I played the “handsome prince” and had to kiss Clare Bloggs (name changed to protect the poor girl’s identity) during rehearsals and in front of her parents. I also played the Griffon in Alice in Wonderland where I had to dress up with wings and feathers.

I thought I was a good little actor – I was only nine or ten at the time – and had delusions of being the next Laurence Olivier. Sadly as I got older, I realised that I wasn’t a beautiful person and would probably have faced numerous rejections for looking like a strategically shaved orangutan.

The Plastic Mancunian auditions for the part of Jack Reacher
This is just another thing I will change when I become President of the World.

I will make it illegal to pose with a duck face, make cosmetic surgery illegal and also ensure that ugly actors and actresses get key parts in films.

I mean – look at Tom Cruise, a man universally considered to be a good looking actor. He is a very good actor and I love a lot of his films but there is one part that I genuinely laughed at when I heard he was playing it. I’ve read a couple of novels by Lee Child when on holiday. He is the man who created Jack Reacher, an ex-military policeman. They sound cheesy and they are – but they are good reads for travelling or a holiday as long as you can stand his writing style (which isn’t brilliant) and can suspend your disbelief. Lee Child describes Jack Reacher as a huge man, 6ft 5 inches with a 50 inch chest who looks like he can literally tear a man in half. Yet the actor chosen to play him is Tom Cruise who is not huge at all – at 5ft 7 inches he is almost a foot shorter. Tom Cruise is almost 5 inches shorter than I am!

Dwayne Johnson might not be as good an actor but at 6ft 5 and built like a brick shithouse, he would at least look like a Jack Reacher type fellow.

I’m sure there is a parallel universe out there where I am a successful Hollywood actor or maybe President of the Earth.

And in either of those places I can promise you this; I will not have a duck face!


joeh said...

Women do not like un-posed photos. They always seem to o the duck face, or the ever popular stick out the tongue pose. I think this is in case they don;t like the pic, they just call it a goof. I hate the duck face and tongue thing.

It is bad enough all the actors seem to be good looking, but when a part calls for an ugly person they still use a good looking actor and ugly him or her up...kinda the same point you make with 5'7" playing a 6' 5" character.

Elephant's Child said...

Sad isn't it?
I would like to ban selfies as well as trout pouts and all cosmetic surgery which isn't restorative (eg after an accident, trauma or to repair a birth defect).
And Intend to grow old(er) disgracefully.

JahTeh said...

I saw a comment once that if you looked close that Tom's top teeth looked as though they had shifted sideways and one was in the middle instead of two, if you can follow that. I don't know if that was before or after he had them straightened. Since I haven't read any of the books, I was surprised to find that he made a tolerable Reacher.

River said...

duck face or trout pout, call it whatever you like, it still looks ridiculous, more so when the pout is exaggerated like the picture you have there. Look at a sulky pouting child, that is a true pout and not at all sexy. Cute maybe, but only on a toddler.

"Why can't characters be portrayed by real people?"
Hear hear! Look at some older movies where women looked like women and not like teenagers, where men had character in their faces, lines and wrinkles around the eyes, some of the women too, and didn't those movies all seem far more believable because the actors seemed like real people?
I really dislike movies where it is hard to figure out who is who because they all look so similar, it's even hard sometimes to work out who are the parents and grandparents because they all look like they're 24.

I agree with you about Tom Cruise too, there are plenty of tall, rugged actors who could have filled the part, but I've heard rumors that his church paid large amounts of cash to get him in the part. don't quote me, it may not be true, but I read it somewhere before the first movie came out. Anyway, I've seen the first movie and actually liked it, because I like Lee Child's books and own the whole Jack Reacher series.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Joeh,

I can name a few women I know who pout - but I daren't! If I were to say "Smile don't pout!" I would be beaten up!

Making a beautiful actor ugly to play an ugly person is just wrong on so many levels!




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

I wouldn't ban selfies - they're fun if there are a few of you trying to cram into a photo.

I too intend to grow old gracefully (well in appearence anyway!).




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi JT,

I'm not having a go at Tom Cruise because I genuinely think he is a fine actor. But there are some parts he shouldn't go for. Jack Reacher is one of them in my opinion.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I might have guessed that Scientology had something to do with it.

If Tom Cruise were a foot taller then, yes, he would have made a perfect Jack Reacher. But he's not.

I like the stories too - I just wish his writing style would improve.

Bizarrely I am looking forward to the next film despite the fact that Tom Cruise is playing him.