This Summer’s Hottest Thirst Trap Is The Bottom Half Of Your Face

Don’t let the constant storms fool you, #shotgirlsummer is here. That means it’s time to start posting hot pics to make your ex jealous! But before you go crouching in a bikini with your phone’s self-timer, trying to emulate a baby deer, just know that you’re going to have to up your game if you really want that attention engagement. Just because we’re returning to precedented times doesn’t mean you should drag out the same tired poses. Unemployment rates, small businesses, and house parties weren’t the only thing affected by the pandemic—covid has also ushered in a new era of thirst traps. We analyzed the top performing Instagram posts, influencer behavior, and photography trends to bring you the hottest poses for summer 2021, because you’re gonna have to do better than show ass on the ‘gram.

The Lower Half Of Your Face

This summer, it’s all about exposed lips. And I don’t mean from those high-cut bikini bottoms all the influencers are wearing. I mean, literally, the ones on your face. You know, the ones you used to purse when it seemed like the bartender was purposely taking everyone’s order but yours? Yeah, those. Having perfectly chiseled abs is cool and all, but this summer it’s really about flexing the bottom half of your face. That means it’s time to even out that mask tan—or at the very least, apply some self-tanner. And probably book a wax. And a trip to the dentist. Have you flossed at all? Don’t forget to use mouthwash.

Inside With A Group

Gone are the days of planning a tropical beach vacation with your closest friends solely for the ‘gram. Anyone can hang out relatively safely outside. That’s no longer a flex. Sure, having enough money to fly to Miami or wherever is cool and all, but a small gathering fully indoors, with little to no ventilation? Now that’s going to get the FOMO senses tingling. Some suggested locales: your local dive bar (the one that got in trouble with the Health Department last March); a friend’s illegal, windowless basement apartment; an abandoned bomb shelter that is in no way up to code. The vibe you’re going for here is “if Gov. Cuomo saw a picture of this go viral on Twitter, he’d come down here personally to shut it down.”

Dog-Free

Having a dog used to be your one-stop shop to Engagement Town (I mean the Instagram kind, obviously). But now? Show me a person who didn’t break and adopt a dog within the past year, and I’ll show you a person who can stay out as late as they want and doesn’t have separation anxiety. As any true crime fan or cheater knows, it’s incredibly difficult to prove the absence of something, so showing off your lack of dog is a bit of a challenge. I mean, posing with an empty dog bowl or unattached leash would look like you had a dog, but it died. Our best advice: take one from the playbook of guys on dating apps with babies. Throw yourself in a pile of dogs, and be sure to clarify in the caption that these are IN NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM your pets.

Used Workout Equipment

Nothing says “I’m simply better than you” like some home workout equipment that has clearly seen better days. Everyone participated in the meme-stock-like surge in demand for dumbbells and Pelotons, but once you waited 5 months for those 10 lb. weights to ship from Amazon, did you ever actually use them? Okay, unfair question. Did you even open the box? Posing with shiny, dent-free equipment is the quickest way to expose the fact that you’re no better than everyone else who went to one Zoom workout, turned their camera off, and then got a snack. You are no better than everyone else, of course, but nobody’s supposed to know that! Much like your intentions of getting abs, it’s way too late to make your equipment look authentically used if you start now. But luckily, much like ripped jeans, you can purchase used workout equipment for a reasonable markup on your local Facebook marketplace. You might even get in some genuine cardio from running away from attempted scammers.

There are more Instagram users than ever, meaning more creators are fighting over fewer slices of the same engagement pie. As the times evolve, so too do the common methods of showcasing your superiority. And if all else fails, just pose on a private jet. That’s one thing that will never fail to make you look like an asshole superior to everyone.

Image: wearefredi / Unsplash

Do You Actually Want To Make Out With Them, Or Are They Just A Person You Haven’t Seen Before?

I get it. The weather is warming up, the vaccine is starting to course (at least halfway) through many young people’s veins, and it feels like maybe, just maybe, we might get able to get back on track and start making the necessary moves to advance our life plans. I’m talking, of course, about meeting people—specifically, prospective romantic partners. What, you thought my life plan had to do with career advancements or personal accomplishments such as buying a house? Ha. Well, I mean, the pandemic probably fucked that up too, but my mom’s not hassling me about when I’m going to finally buy property. Anyway, this isn’t (really) about me. With the beautiful weather and vaccine rollout lulling us into a sense of something approaching normalcy, you are probably feeling some urges. Urges to, in the immortal words of Coach Carr, take off your clothes and touch each other. If you’re not feeling an indecent exposure charge, then maybe you just want to make out with a hot person in public. It’s completely natural, what with the whole being-cooped-up-with-no-company-but-your-thoughts-for-a-year thing! But before you go exchanging mRNA with the first person you set your eyes on, ask yourself: do you actually want to make out with them, or are they just a person you haven’t set eyes on in 13 months?

Below, a few factors to consider before getting your usually-masked area up close and personal with their usually-masked area.

Do You Know Their Name?

Not like it’s mattered before, but I suppose for contact tracing purposes it might be helpful to keep some identifying information on hand. A phone number, at least? Fine, an email address. A Snapchat handle? Make sure your carrier pigeon knows where to deliver your most recent test results, at least.

Close Your Eyes. Can You Recall Their Face?

You can’t use the darkness of the club or your inebriation as an excuse, so be honest with yourself. If your life were somehow dependent on it, could you actually recall this person’s face other than “uhh… they have eyes and… a nose”? Didn’t really think so. He’s probably not Mr. Right, or even Mr. Right Now, since he’s not even making an impact in your short-term memory.

Have You Exchanged Any Words With Them?

Any at all? Note that “hi” is only one word, and I specifically asked about words, plural. Maybe back in the club, one carefully placed eye-f*ck would be all you need for you and your mystery person to gravitate towards each other as if propelled by an invisible magnet and start sucking face. But in times where we don’t even see our own friends without making them verbally fill out a detailed health questionnaire, prolonged eye contact is no longer enough to initiate a public makeout… that is, unless you have them fill out a physical detailed health questionnaire. Is that HIPAA compliant?

Are You Confident They Haven’t Been To A Super Spreader Event In The Past 2 Weeks?

Do they seem like the type of person who has friends? If so, that could be a risk—one of those friends could have gotten married, or had a birthday, or just wanted to watch football on Sunday. What are the odds they’ve been to Florida within the past 14 days? Are they drinking a Red Bull vodka, doing a line, or wearing Bermuda shorts? If so, best to not take those odds. Make the sign of the cross with your fingers and stay far away (six feet).

Seriously, Do You Know Anything About This Person?

Do you have an eye color? Blood type? Just kidding, I don’t even know my own blood type (should I?). What color shirt are they wearing? Are they wearing a shirt? Can you identify a single element that attracted you to this person, or did your brain just immediately fire off, “PERSON!” when it detected a human life form in the vicinity?

Okay, Does Their Body Temperature Seem Within A Normal Range?

Are their cheeks flushed? Do they appear to be sweating or having the chills? No? Then you’re clear to approach them cautiously. Does their forehead feel warm to the touch? If you’ve already tried testing it with the back of your hand, try doing what your mom would do when you were a kid and putting your cheek to their forehead. Just my mom, then? Well, now that you’ve thoroughly made it weird, a makeout shouldn’t be too out of the question.

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I’m pleased to inform you that you meet the minimum requirements for a summer 2021-approved spit-swapping. Congratulations! You might want to take a little sniff inside your mask to make sure you don’t need to pop a mint or anything. Actually, scratch that—just get a mint either way. As far as how to kiss, a skill that’s no doubt been long forgotten, I can’t help you there. Best of luck, and try not to do anything weird.

Image: Lisanto 李奕良Unsplash