Why The 'Skinny Arm' Is The Most Insecure Thing A Girl Can Do

by Gigi Engle

I hate to break it you, ladies, but that pose you're doing in pictures is making you all look a bunch of sh*t heads.

You know the one I'm talking about. It's the pose you make when you get together with your friends (or on your own), lean forward slightly, put your hand on your hip and angle it outward. You know. It's the skinny arm.

The skinny arm got its name from those classic group pictures that sorority girls take to make their arms look thinner in their sorority pictures: the ones where they all get together on the white steps of their Phi Alpha Beta Delta Assh*le house and pose in three straight lines, each line squatting a little lower than the one behind.

The skinny arm has become an unspoken directive that has trickled into the hearts and minds of every girl. It has creeped up on us like a fungus. I'm not sure when it happened, but everywhere you look -- on every Tinder profile, Facebook profile picture album or Instagram feed -- you will find the skinny arm.

I've made a very serious effort not to do this pose in photos anymore, mostly because I understand how lame it is.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not going to pretend I'm not guilty of doing this.

I mean, here's me on the Fourth of July:

Here is one of me at some disco brunch with a bunch of girls whose names I don't remember:

And here I am doing some kind of dickhole fashion shoot (also, WTF is happening with my hair?):

Yeah, I've done it, and it is the most insecure thing in the world. The one thing these pictures have in common is how false my confidence is in every single photo.

The skinny arm is the biggest joke. You're trying to look your best, but you really just look like a complete doofus. You look like someone who is just trying SO hard. It's sad.

And when did we get so rigid about our looks that we had a planned pose for photos? It takes all the naturalness out of pictures. It's disturbing.

Truly, the skinny arm perfectly encapsulates everything wrong with society. It's a manifestation of our insecurities as women and our willingness to bow to beauty standards that society has established.

It may not seem like that big of a deal, but it is. It's f*cked up.

Dear God, can we please just stop this BS already? This is a call to end the skinny arm because it is the most insecure thing a girl can do.

Everyone knows what you're doing.

It's not a secret what you're doing with your arm, girl. Everyone sees it. You may think you look just goddamn wonderful in that picture, but what you actually look like is every single white girl on the planet.

You don't look playful or cute. No one thinks you were asked to pose for a picture and that this is just your natural stance. You're trying to make your arms look thinner. You're trying to suck in your waist. You are unknowingly displaying your acceptance of society's beauty standards.

You're not standing like that because it's comfortable; you're standing like that because you think it makes you look more attractive. Everyone knows it, including you.

You're displaying your lack of confidence for the world to see.

If you're heading to a PR party with your two best girlfriends and you pose for a photo with your hands on your hips, you may as well take a black Sharpie and write “INSECURE” across your forehead in big, bulky block letters.

When a girl does the skinny arm, she thinks she's showing the world a few things:

A) She's fun, carefree and just living her life. B) She has really skinny arms. C) She just naturally looks good and doesn't care what you think.

Here is what she's actually saying:

A) She's insecure and seeks validation from strangers and acquaintances.

B) She does not have skinny arms; she's aware of this fact, and she's attempting to trick people into not realizing this.

C) She spent two hours getting ready this morning and absolutely does care what people think of her.

When strangers and people who kind of know you see you in photos on your Facebook and Insta, they see an insecure girl who is trying too hard.

I'm sorry, but it's true. If you want to stop looking like you're trying to lie about your sucky life, just literally pose differently.

It's really not that hard. Whatever message you think you're sending with that skinny arm, I promise you it's the wrong one.

You should be worrying about something other than how skinny you can make yourself look.

There are so many other things you can be doing online other than worrying about how thin you look in pictures. Seriously, can't you just let that gorgeous hike with the waterfall in the background be the moment?

Do you really have to stop to make sure your angle is just right, that your arms are looking their thinnest and that the lighting is just right to capture this memory?

If we girls would just chill the f*ck out about looking good in our pictures and just enjoy the actual moment, the world would be a better place.

I know it's so cliché, but: Live in the moment. Don't worry about the pictures; worry about the experience.

Seriously, when it comes to the skinny arm, it's like we're missing the whole point of taking trips, going on adventures and exploiting our wanderlust. It's not about how f*cking skinny you look in a picture; it's about how much fun you had that day.

It's like we're forgetting what actually matters.

The fact that you have a planned pose for photos is a problem in and of itself.

You clearly think you have two things to hide: Your fat arms and apparently your sense of self. Forget any real sense of candidness in your photos. If you don't look 10 pounds lighter than you are, is it even worth a photo?

Why do you have this go-to pose? Why do all girls have this go-to pose? This is a serious issue all by itself. The fact that this universal pose exists to “make you look your best” is entirely bizarre (I'm putting that in quotes because it's not true. You look your best when you look natural).

We know the drill. "Here!" we say. "Lean in, put your hand on your hip, stick your shoulder out and suck in."

But by doing this, we're giving in to a double standard. In our advertisements and Tumblr posts, we're standing up for curvy girls, thick girls and girls of every shape. And yet we're still doing the skinny arm.

A picture says a thousand words, but this one's saying just two: "I'm thin." It's a very problematic message.

It's just so incredibly basic.

The most annoying, infuriating and aggravating thing about the skinny arm is that is just SO unoriginal. When you take up the pose, you're showing the world that you're just like everyone else.

You aren't special. You're a dime a dozen just like every other J. Crew-sweater-clad, cuffed-jean-wearing, chandelier-earring-sporting girl out there. You are a basic bitch.

It's hard to stand out in a world that is so inundated with poor attempts at originality. You're really not doing yourself a favor by shouting from the proverbial rooftops that you are literally every girl ever. And you're doing that by posing like a f*cking insecure dick whose main concern is how skinny she looks.

If you want to go on and on about how “not basic” you are, maybe don't do a skinny arm in every f*cking picture you take. Your Tinder profile is definitely saying something different than you think it is.

Quite honestly, it's better to have your arms look fat than it is to look like such an assh*le.