Ever wondered why do we say cheese in front of the camera? Yeah, you can say it makes you appear as if you’re smiling but whoever said we have to smile in pictures?
Source : Toonpool
The photos of the nineteenth century were ruled by stony, solemn faces. These early photos took their cues from traditional European fine art portraiture, where smiles were only worn by peasants, children and drunks. The etiquette and beauty standards of the time also called for a small, tightly controlled mouth.
At one London photo studio, the precursor to “say cheese” was actually “say prunes,” to help sitters form a small mouth.
“The speedy camera shutter, attractive faces in media and politics, and the rise of dental care”, technological and cultural factors that may have begun a process of “mouth liberalization.”
Funnily enough, this reminded me of a photo taken at school when I was 7 or 8 years old. That particular picture was probably the first picture I remember taken in the absence of The Parents, so I decided to do something I’ve wanted to do for sometime : I pursed my lips when the camera snapped.
I have zero recollection of what instigated me to do it, but it was not the norm, so I think I liked it. Either that or I had a 19th century Miss European Finest living in me. And then the picture came. The girl beside me looked like a happy girl, I looked like an angry bull. Or something. Having my hair styled into the typical Indian double braid didn’t help at all.
I never attempted anything other than smiles in pictures after that. Well, okay, until I got my own camera that is.
Oh, by the way, I bet you said “pruuuunes” just to try it out. 😉