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Melania Trump nails the fish gape

The FLOTUS has made this her signature pose. Photographers tell us what makes this so appealing...

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Melania Trump nails the fish gape
(Clockwise from left) Donald Trump and Melania Trump in London; Melania Trump; Melania Trump has shown a preference for the fish gape
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She is one of the most photographed women in the world. And well aware of the fact that cameras are recording her every move, Melania Trump, First Lady and wife of US President Donald Trump, has her pose down pat. The former model and socialite rarely breaks into a smile. Instead, while posing, she parts her lips ever so slightly in what is known as the fish gape. The term is coined after the underwater animals who have their mouths slightly open at all times as they gasp for air. It is a favourite with models and actors as it gives the poser a sultry look making one’s pout appear bigger. The ‘gape’ involves tilting the face downwards, sucking in the cheeks and opening the mouth a little while keeping the tongue on the roof of the mouth. It works just as well for selfies, too. 

BEEN AROUND FOR A WHILE

For the First Lady, this has been her go-to pose since her modelling days. More recently, during a gala dinner in London with President Trump, she was snapped looking radiant in a yellow caped J Mendel gown while flaunting the fish gape. Another popular facial expression of Melania is the squinch, which implies squinting the eyes a little to give an aura of confidence.

Celebrity photographer Subi Samuel says the fish gape is like old wine in a new bottle. “It has been around for years with stars using it in photo shoots to look sexy. It had gone out for a bit but is now back with a bang. It has a huge appeal. While one can have a blank facial expression, the parted lips make the model look more sensuous. I personally prefer it to the duck face which was popular in between,” he says.

INTERACTIVE FEEL

The fish gape has been mastered by international models and celebrities, too. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley knows her bee-stung pout is her best asset and often plays it up by adopting this pose. A quick look at the Instagram     accounts of Kaia Gerber, Kylie Jenner and Hailey Baldwin also reveal their preference for this facial pose.      Celebrity photographer Dabboo Ratnani explains that   often rather than keeping the mouth locked, he asks models to keep it slightly open. “It  appears like he or she is almost talking to the camera. It gives the image a more interactive feel,” he says, adding, “When practising for a selfie, you have to put some thought behind it. Your eyes should be saying something that will complement the lips.” Most of our Bollywood          actresses like   Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kajol, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Parineeti Chopra have nailed this  expression, opines Dabboo.


(Clockwise from left) Hailey Baldin; Kaia Gerber; Rosie Huntington-Whiteley; Kylie Jenner

MORE RELAXED FEEL

The gape is an easy way to make your face look slimmer and take the focus away from any fine lines. Celebrity photographer Vikram Bawa says he always tells his models not to keep their mouth shut too tightly as it looks unnatural. “This is a more  relaxed stance. But it may not suit    everyone. It’s better for those with slightly wider teeth. A relaxed open mouth look is ideal for a seductive image,” he  explains, adding that it should come naturally.

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