Q: What’s with the duck face selfies?

Kelly Sue: With the exception of hard core collectors, people who stand in line to get an autograph aren’t actually there for your signature. They’re there for a moment or two of your time. They’re there for a real, face-to-face interaction. Having been on the other side of that table many times myself (a practice I am not above — I stood in line to get Gerry Conway’s autograph the last time we were at a show together!), I have a lot of respect for the line. I try to give everyone my full attention and if they want to take a photo together, it seems the least I can do.

The thing is, taking photos with strangers can be awkward. Often the person is nervous and if the photo doesn’t turn out, they feel weird about asking for a reshoot.

The duck face selfie is my way of putting people at ease. We HAVE to stand close together because a selfie requires closeness to get everyone in the frame. And NO ONE looks good doing a duck face (especially when you’re trying not to laugh), so nobody worries whether it’s a flattering photo. It’s fun. It gives us something to *do*.

There’s another thing too — the duck face selfie was born of young girls and women trying to give themselves full lips and cheekbones in photos. Because… why? Because the message we have been sending them since birth is that their appearance and desirability are their value, and having full lips and prominent cheekbones adds to that value. So they’re understandably fascinated by their own appearance (selfies) and, because they’re resourceful and NOT STUPID, they adjust the camera angle and their facial expression to play up what we’ve taught them to value.

…and then we make fun of them for it.

I think that makes US assholes, not them.

So I guess, in my way, I try to celebrate the duck face selfie for that reason too.

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