Want a way to look better in photos? Of course you do, you’re a human being in the 21st century and you run on caffeine and narcissism. Photographer Peter Hurley has coined “squinching,” a new way of manipulating your facial muscles in order to look better in pictures. Hurley thinks that looking into the camera like a wide-eyed anime character “portrays fear and uncertainty,” which squinching will eliminate, making you look like a confident lady- or man-killer rather than a deer in the headlights.
So how does one squinch? First, squinching is not squinting. This is very important. When you squint, you close both top and bottom eyelids. To squinch, you “lift and tighten the lower eyelid and only allow the top eyelid to come down slightly.”
Are you doing it at your computer right now? You totally are. It’s actually really hard. Eyelids don’t want to be controlled independently.
Squinching is also not smizing, though they seem similar. Smize, for the four straight men in the world who aren’t aware, is a term coined by Tyra Banks that means “smile with your eyes.” Smizing is less a physical action than it is a state of mind that is reflected in the face, as evidenced by this video of Tyra teaching the smize and sounding disturbingly like my yoga instructor telling me “you are a deer in the forest” as I contort myself into extremely un-deer-like shapes.
Finally, squinching is actually not a made-up word! It has an entry in Merriam-Webster, which notes that it is probably a combination of the words “squint” and “pinch” and was first used all the way back in 1835.
Hurley’s last video on how to be more photogenic got over a million views, so squinching may be about to sweep the nation. It’s no Blue Steel, but it’s certainly better than duckface.
[h/t The Daily Mail]