The meaning behind the most popular summer Instagram poses

Elise Solé
Yahoo Beauty
There’s meaning behind these intentional poses. (Photo: kellycoghlinn and signorina_piu via Instagram)
There’s meaning behind these intentional poses. (Photo: kellycoghlinn and signorina_piu via Instagram)

As we near Labor Day, we also bid adieu to the social media trends that defined the summer. From the Bambi pose to sandy cheeks and ribcage bragging, here are the most popular poses — and what they mean.

#Downwardgaze

@edpurnomo

A post shared by Elyse Knowles (@elyseknowlzy) on Feb 5, 2017 at 11:04pm PST


“This pose conveys power,” Susan Constantine, a body language expert who trains law enforcement and the Department of Defense, tells Yahoo Beauty. “There’s a loss of connection between the subject and the viewer — and it’s the woman’s choice to disengage.”

#Sandycheeks

Turquoise and Tan Skin

A post shared by Kelly Coghlin (@kellycoghlinn) on Aug 29, 2017 at 12:47pm PDT


Hello, Helena Christensen in 1990’s “Wicked Games” music video. “Sand and dirt convey filth,” adds Constantine. “It’s very sensual.”

#Bambipose

Feeling baby #2 kicks way more this pregnancy and Yes a lot of Protein World products are safe to use while Prego #5monthspregnant @proteinworld

A post shared by MY FITNESS EBOOK AVAIL NOW (@sarahstage) on Jun 20, 2017 at 11:38am PDT


“There’s something very infantile about the way the model is sitting,” says Constantine. “She appears very sexual but also submissive and weak.”

#Hairthrow

#water#swim#perfecttime#perfectshot#hairthrow#amazing#perfect#beautiful#pretty#beauty#wow. Perfect shot!

A post shared by Life Beauty NOW! (@lifebeautynow) on Jul 31, 2017 at 2:22pm PDT


“Throwing the hair back is similar to how peacocks spread their feathers,” she says. “It’s liberating, attention-seeking, and presents as a mating call.”

#Ribcagebragging

#swimwear#beach#summer#sun#hair#spain#vacation#ribcagebragging#chill#sable#victoriasecret @victoriassecret

A post shared by Mitness (@mitness_modele) on May 23, 2017 at 6:53am PDT


“This woman is showing how thin her body is — and she’s celebrating it,” says Constantine.

#Fingermouthing

#fingermouthing#messyhair#ombre#nails#sunday#sunny#myself#blueeyes#pinkylips#lifestyle#haveaniceday#instagirl#polishgirl#l4l

A post shared by Aleksandra Ossowska (@alexissosso_1324) on Aug 27, 2017 at 7:39am PDT


“I call this a ‘posed pose,'” says Constantine. “It’s very deliberate. Anytime someone puts their fingers to the mouth, it means that they’re holding back in some way. But when the mouth is slightly open, like we see here, it’s an attempt to attract someone.”

#Belfies

RED WHITE & BOOTY ❤️.@tater_tot_kitty @jennamarie018 @d_emarie

A post shared by Courtneyl04❤️ (@courtneyl04) on Jul 4, 2017 at 8:16pm PDT


“There are two things going on here — the women are expressing the strength of their bond, as evidenced by their hands wrapped around each other’s waists,” she says. “But it’s also a very impersonal sexual invitation, since the women have their backs to the camera.”

#Beachlegs

great thoughts come from the heart #greatthoughtscomefromtheheart #heart #cuore #cuorematto #love #amore #somuchlovetogive #sardinia #sardegna #sand #saltyskin #legs #suntan #tan #holidays #vacanze #takemeback #tmb #endlesssummer #endlesslove #beach #beachlegs #instapic #instagram #instalife #instamood #thatsit

A post shared by s a n d r a (@signorina_piu) on Aug 29, 2017 at 9:47am PDT


Perhaps the most timeless social media pose, “beach legs” have been memorialized in memes such as “hot dog legs,” which challenges viewers to distinguish between a person’s legs and two hot dogs, and is a common way of announcing “I’m off the grid.” Adds Constantine, “I call this a ‘display pose’ because it’s a very self-aware way of saying, ‘Here I am.'”

#Backbend

Day 2 of s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g @elizabethhurleybeach

A post shared by Elizabeth Hurley (@elizabethhurley1) on Jul 12, 2017 at 9:26am PDT


“Here, it’s as though the body is presented as an art form,” says Constantine. “The arched back and the open legs convey confidence.”

#Smoothieselfie

#smoothieselfie to celebrate me finally looking like my bitmoji again missed my short hair so much!

A post shared by Kady McWhirter (@kadyspeaks) on Aug 12, 2017 at 9:56am PDT


“This is the picture of health,” says Constantine. “The person wants you to know that she’s organic, pure, and in charge of what she puts in her body.”

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