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Ducks, as you may be aware, sport medium-to-large bills in the middle of their faces, where the mouth should be is. With a little effort, you can nearly recreate this odd form with your own mouth: just pout your lips. Funny resemblance, eh?

The teenage girls of MySpace have also discovered this phenomenon. Of course, in a manner befitting such barely-pubescent A-cuppers as these, they've adapted the technique to the level of skill and social ineptitude of their generation. This modification consists of distending the lips far enough outwards to block airflow to the nostrils and make the bottom half of a funny face.

Predictably, any picture featuring this facial deformity is not going to be one that emphasizes beauty, grace, or intelligence. Equally predictably, teenage girls are completely oblivious to the previous fact.

A duckface (n.), directly speaking, is the positioning of the lips into an overexaggerated or otherwise imperfect pout, or a picture prominently featuring such. For the uninitiated, a visual example can be found here. These pictures are often the designated profile avatars on social networking profiles of four-to-seven-out-of-tens, or are at least found in their galleries. (Indeed, the origin of this unfortunately non-fatal pandemic is believed to be MySpace, circa 2004.) They usually also contain other highly coveted web photo gallery features, including—but not limited to!—the cell-phone-cam-in-a-mirror shot, the unappealing makeup gambit, the obligatory Instagram filter, the skew angle capture, and the obnoxious peace sign. People who do any of these will invariably be laughed at by someone. Such laughing-at tends to happen on social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, and whatever the youngsters are into these days.

Though you might expect teenage girls to still be exploring and molding the technologies of today to their whim, and you may even resolve to try to forgive them should they be exposed during the adaptation phase of their learning how to work the concept of craftsmanship, the duckface is probably the point where you might feel you have to step back and say, "What the hell has happened to this generation, and why has viewing it not activated a fatal aneurysm in my brain?" And believe me when I say you are not alone.

Modern takes on the art of poor photography include the palsied cameraman and couldn't-hit-the-ground-with-a-rock aim. Again, these are usually an artifact of the skill of the person whose greasy fingers are gracing their iPhone's four-bazillion-megapixel camera, but it really makes one think about what it means to have armed every little hormonal teen with their own personal narcissism device—some of us can still recall the time when cameras had film and their use was an art unto itself, as opposed to nowadays when the preferred method of memory management is to take 20 shots in as many seconds and curate the result. The Globe And Mail has something to say about this issue as well.


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