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Moneyfacing refers to the act of placing a creased banknote in front of one’s face and taking a profile picture, which reveals a “hybrid face” of the subject and famous person depicted on the currency bill. Though unrelated in origin, this fad can be seen as a variation on the theme of sleevefacing, or the art of obscuring one’s face with record album sleeves and taking timely photographs of the hybrid profile.
The earliest known instance of Moneyface image was posted by b3ta forum user Spunky McPunk in an “Image Challenge” thread titled “Photoshop Money” on May 22nd, 2008.
Several months later on August 29th, 2009, the first instance of photograph to be labeled “Moneyface” was posted on Todaysbigthing.com, featuring an image of a girl with the lower half of her face eclipsed with the British currency note:
ABOUT THIS PICTURE:
“And after these procedures the bottom half of your face could look something like this. That’s right, just like the queen of England.”
In September 2009, BuzzFeed reposted the same photograph with the same title but the fad didn’t become a widespread phenomenon until early December 2009, when the Facebook page “Money-Face” began to take off. Subsequently, it spread across other photo-sharing sites including Flickr, where groups like “MoneyShots” were formed.
The meme began to draw the attention of UK news media around the same time in December 2009, eventually appearing in published articles by The Telegraph and The Sun. Since evolving into an international phenomenon with the aid of Facebook and Flickr, people from around the world have participated in Moneyfacing with all kinds of banknotes from American Dollars and British Pounds to Singapore Dollars and Japanese Yen.
October 2011 Resurgence
On October 21st, 2011, a thread was posted to Reddit by JonToTheLink titled “Money face” that linked to a photo of a man posing with a Chilean bank note. The thread reached the front page and received 3,148 up votes within a week. The following day, a thread titled “I see your money face and raise you $10” reached the front page of the r/funny subreddit and received 15,503 up votes within 5 days. Several money face related threads were subsequently posted in following days.