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Baby Mugging is a photo fad that utliizes the optical illusion of forced perspective to make a baby appear as if he or she is peeking out of a ceramic mug, when in reality, the model is sitting or standing behind it. Since the original photos began circulating Instagram with the hashtag #babeinamug in April 2013, the range of subjects portrayed in the series has been expanded to include animals, adolescents and even adults.
The first mugging photo was posted to Instagram on April 12th, 2013 by blogger Ilana Wiles as a submission to photographer Josh Johnson’s daily photography challenge with the theme “fun.” Though it did not get featured as part of the challenge, the photo accrued more than 420 likes and 34 comments within ten days. She also encouraged her Instagram followers to post their own mugging photos with the hashtag #babeinamug.
Three days later, Wiles reposted the image to her blog Mommy Shorts, designating the name Baby Mugging for the first time and highlighting a number of Instagram photos inspired by her original post. The image was also shared on the Mommy Shorts Facebook fan page, where it was liked more than 200 times. That day, the image compilation was featured on Baby Gooroo’s Facebook fan page and Things Momma Loves. The following day, Rookie Moms picked up on the photo fad, adding their own images. On April 18th, Wiles posted an update about the hashtag to Mommy Shorts noting the photos on the Instagram hashtag had expanded to include upside-down babies (shown below, left), animals (shown below, center) and adults (shown below, right) in mugs. On April 19th, Wiles wrote about her experience with Baby Mugging on Disney’s parenting blog, Babble.
As of April 22nd, 2013, there are more than 350 photos tagged #babeinamug and more than 60 tagged #babymugging on Instagram. Several subforums on parenting message board BabyCenter have also started their own threads for baby mugging photos.
On March 12th, Ilana Wiles uploaded a photograph of her toddler nephew Jack dressed in his dad’s suit with the hashtags #allbizbabies and #babysuiting to her Instagram account @MommyShorts. In the next two weeks, the post garnered more than 1,080 likes. Almost a week later on March 18th, Wiles announced the launch of a new photo fad dubbed #BabySuiting on her blog MommyShorts, along with a handful of images that she had taken of her nephew and other babies of her friends after dressing them up in suits. Throughout the latter half of March, at least 50 images of babies dressed in business suits were uploaded to Instagram, which were eventually picked up by BuzzFeed and CBC News on March 27th.
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