Something I’ve been asked to do many times on video and photo shoots is to blow a kiss at the camera. I don’t know about you but as a 47-year-old woman, I find this excruciating.
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Is this just me? If you’re a Generation Xer/baby boomer do you find this as awkward as I do, whether you’re the one being asked to blow the kisses or the one looking at 40 and 50+ women doing it? With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing it all over the shop, so I thought I’d ask your opinion on this matter.
First, let me adjust my soapbox slightly… Ready.
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“Too old” for blowing kisses?
At what point do we become – and I apologise for my want of a better expression – ‘too old’ to blow kisses at the camera? (If, indeed, we’re too old to do anything at all ever, including blowing kisses like there’s no tomorrow.)
I don’t mean old in the same sense that some people consider women too old to wear certain things. I mean too old in the same sense as being too old to worry about what we wear or what others think about us, or too old to bow to peer pressure and just go ahead and do our own thing.
You could say “too grown-up” to do it. It still doesn’t sound quite right, but I’m sure you know what I mean.
I guess I see blowing kisses as a bit of an influencer [*rolls eyes*] peculiarity, where it automatically gives you an excuse to do the duck face pouting thing. Want to do a duck face but don’t want to be too obvious doing it? Blow a kiss to the camera. There you go, automatic duck face! No one will ever know!
This is probably the old lady cynic coming out in me, but I’ve worked on quite a few photo and video shoots and I’d say over the last 1-2 years I’ve been asked to blow a kiss to the camera about 50% of the time.
Photographer: “Okay we’ve almost wrapped up – could you just finish off by blowing a kiss to the camera?”
Me inside: God no, don’t ask me to do that…
Me: “Er sure, like this?” [blows an awkward kiss]
Me inside: Christ I feel like such an idiot…
Maybe I’m asked to do it because I’ve been involved with a few campaigns that feature bloggers of various ages, and it’s the younger ones that do it as a matter of course in their content. Then again, I’ve also been asked to do it on shoots where all the ladies are in the older 40+ bracket, so who KNOWS what the brand/campaign manager is thinking.
Is it because it’s just expected these days on social media? We’re so used to seeing kisses being blown by influencers left, right and centre that perhaps brands assume that that’s what everyone WANTS to see, no matter whether they’re 15 or 55? But DO women want to see it?
I don’t, not really. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t make some big song and dance about it – I just find it awkward. It makes me a bit squirmy, like watching a sex scene in a TV programme with your parents. Just – no. No, no, no. Pleeeeeeease make it stop.
What image (or message) is this meant to portray…?
I know it’s a “fun” thing, I get that. It’s meant to create an air of frivolity and whimsy. But there are some brands that (I’m sure) would never, EVER use the blowing kisses thing in their campaigns – advertising, editorial, social or otherwise – and I guess these are the ones I consider the more serious or “grown-up” brands. Ones wanting to project a more classy image. Brands that come to mind are Winser London, Reiss, LK Bennett and Hobbs. I may be wrong, but I can’t imagine them featuring models or bloggers/regular women in any of their campaigns making duck faces and blowing kisses.
Then again, maybe they shouldn’t take themselves too seriously and should try “loosening up”? (Jury’s out on that one.)
I’d love to know your thoughts on this, and whether I’m being totally melodramatic and should just chill tf out, or whether you find it just as awkward as I do (whether you’re in front of the camera or the consumer who the image is ultimately aimed at).
Either way, blowing kisses gets a Nooooo thank you from me. At least it’s not as bad, however, as being asked to WINK at the camera (oh, the horror). When I try to do it, it looks like I’ve got grit in my eye and my mouth gapes open like I’m catching flies for Team GB in the Insect-Eating Championships.
And as one photographer said to me when I tried to wink, “Hmm yeah, maybe we won’t do that…”
What are your thoughts on the whole blowing kisses thing? Tell me in the comments!