Gen Z Is Begging Millennials to Stop "Teapot Posing"

millennial teapot posing hero
Getty Images

I remember it clearly. I was a sophomore in college when one of the girls in my a cappella group stood in front of the classroom we were practicing in and gave us a crash course in posing for photos, so we always looked our “best,” which basically meant skinnier. Snatched, if you will.

She turned to one side, pushed out her chest slightly arching her back and, then, the pièce de résistance: She perched one arm against her hip. She called this pose “The S Curve,” alluding to the curved shape it created. (Unrelated, but this girl also gave us a signed copy of her own home-recorded CD for Christmas one year. Ah, to have her unbridled confidence...)

Anyway, the “S Curve” is perhaps more commonly known as the “Teapot Pose,” and as Urban Dictionary explains: “This pose is predominately used by females of the ‘basic’ variety on social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook. It can be used singularly but is often utilized for group photos.”

Lol, wow, the shade. But also, if you’ve ever been part of a bachelorette party or group photo, you’ve likely done this pose at some point—if even inadvertently, thanks to its ubiquity over the last decade (as shown by the many celeb examples in the TikTok video above).

As of 2022, Gen Z is saying the teapot pose is officially out. In its place? More “natural” poses like “the raptor” or as I like to call it, “holding an invisible mini purse.” See Zendaya below.

the raptor pose zendaya
Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

According to Christine Buzan, a TikTok creator who specializes in posing tips for all body types, this pose is basically “the teapot’s cousin.” Your arms are still going to your sides and are still arched, so your get that “slimming, streamlining effect of the teapot but it’s less in your face,” she says.

But as another millennial once famously sang, what goes around comes around. One day it’s raptor arms, the next, teapot poses are back baby. As for me? I’m forever team peace sign—or its cousin, team deuces.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...