Just when I thought I had left South Korea, it pulls me back in! Rob Beschizza (incorrectly, it seems) thinks he’s identified a new fad – Joker face, or duck face. Westerners are responsible for this bizarre revolt against genetics and – life.
The trend of Duck Face photos can be attributed to the emergence of social networking profiles, most notably with the launch of MySpace in 2003 and its rise to mainstream popularity in July 2005. Myspace users could create profiles including biographical information and photographs of themselves, many of which exhibited the facial expression that eventually became known as the “duck face.” On May 13th, 2006, the first Urban Dictionary definition for “myspace face” was submitted by user Crohnser, which described the female version of the expression as a combination of pouty eyes and pursed lips (shown below). On September 13th, an Urban Dictionary definition for “duck face” was submitted by user Mair Mair, which defined the mannerism as a two-lipped pout.
What seems to have changed from 2003 is that the intent fuelling the procedure has evolved from flirtation to mood. The original emphasis on poutiness almost sounds ironic, but trying to look happy is depressing. At the risk of sounding morose, being able to read on a person’s face, that he/she is sad is useful. If no one can tell if one is having a bad day, how would anyone know when to intervene? Reading faces is a very important skill for humans.
But, it’s clear that Americans, not Koreans, started this bad practice.