You’re An Adult — Please Stop Sticking Your Tongue Out In Pictures

Between slower work hours and traveling for the holidays, I’ve been spending a bit more time on Instagram than I care to admit. From opening the app and mindlessly scrolling through the same pictures I’ve already seen and deep-diving on the “explore” page, I’ve come to notice a phenomenon that is unfortunately alive and well: tongues out in pictures.

Sadly, no. I’m not to referring to the one and only acceptable tongue-out style of picture (read: pictures of dogs panting). I’m seeing adults stick out their tongue in an effort to be cute and silly. Yes, really. I’m talking about real life grown-ups partaking in this gross behavior and it must be stopped.

I was on my friend’s page swiping through moments of a holiday-themed pajama party when — you guessed it — multiple of the girls had their tongue out posing for the camera. At first, I thought this was a one-off scenario, but another girl on my feed was winking with her tongue out in a selfie… and then another girl had her tongue out and was holding a bottle of wine… After this, I was baffled. So I started intentionally looking to see who else does this. And guess what? Apparently, there are a lot of people are plagued with the concept that this is a good look for them.

Now, I vividly remember the days of the duckface and peace sign circa 2006 that left us with cringe-worthy Myspace photos, but those are long gone… The still-lingering pouty closed-smile look that serves as a vehicle for “likes” of many influencers is a bit more forgivable. But the tongue-out? This is where I draw the line.

We are days away from 2019, which means we are no longer in that rock and roll age of sexual rebellion a la Gene Simmons and the Miley Cyrus tongue-out moments of grinding at the VMAs are several years old. So what are these people doing? The days of the party-out tongue look are long gone.

But what about this new half-ass tongue out look? You know the one. It’s very unique to this day and age where someone attractive is kind of biting their tongue and kind of letting it fall out of their mouth. Are they being playful? Are they being sexual? What is happening? The same people who do this are the same people who tweet about loving food and caption selfies with self-deprecating jokes to make themselves seem more relatable. I can ONLY imagine people are doing this to want to imply that they don’t take themselves very seriously, and yet, in reality, they probably take themselves TOO seriously for their own good. If posting this kind of picture today, their caption should honestly read something like this:

Hi, I’m Samantha. You’ll notice that my tongue is out in this picture. It’s because I want you to know that I live a very fun and flirty lifestyle and nothing is too serious here. As if posting a selfie wasn’t attention seeking enough, I wanted to add my own unique flair to show you that I kind of want to be sexualized but also not really so don’t call me out for it or I’ll get mad. I also love pizza and use the word “irony” as a synonym for “coincidence” all of the time.

Let’s just say if you’re above the age of 19 and you’re sticking out your tongue in pictures, we’re all making fun of you for it. Unless you live in a Tibet where sticking your tongue out is a common greeting, please spare us the sight. Or if you have a piercing to show off (which is objectively more interesting), that’s fine. Otherwise, please put your obnoxious flappy tongue back in your mouth. Nobody wants to see it, and despite what you might think, it’s not cute, funny, silly, or sexy. It’s just gross.

I know I can’t control what everyone does on the internet, and (despite my griping) I don’t want to because I’d have nothing to write about. But if you decide to indulge in this weird pose… At least get a tongue scraper, you unhygienic and bad-breathed human. 

Written by TSM


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  1. yes!! I agree 100%! mostly celebrities do this and it grosses me out. It actually makes me angrier than it should. Why? I’m not sure, but I find it disgusting. arrrrrrgggggg….PUT IT AWAY!!! So glad I’m not alone.

  2. Totally disgusting and I wish people would stop doing it. Tongues are placed inside our mouths because that’s where they belong.

  3. Thank you so much for saying it! 2022 and the situation has gotten worse! Athletes, performers, and regular dusty grown men doing the same thing my 9 year old daughter doodles on her drawing apps..

  4. My mother sticks her tongue when posing for pictures. She’s over 60. It really bothers me and I don’t know how to react to such photos. I don’t think it’s appropriate for her age to act like that. As you write, she thinks she’s being cute but I think it’s rather embarrassing.

    • It’s not just embarrassing for a person over 60 years old… sticking ones tongue out is not appropriate for anyone over 6!

    • 60 is not really that old, but it’s embarrassing for any adult, of any age, to do that. I don’t understand why people do it. I think most people who do that think that they are being cute. I don’t get it.

  5. It’s very offensive to me. I don’t want to see your nasty tongue! No warning or anything…GROSS. it’s not cute, it looks slutty and stupid. Grow up!

  6. The girl I’m seeing sticks her tongue out in every single picture it’s not sexy at all it’s very immature

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