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Aircraft Carrier Style (Chinese: 航母style), is a Chinese photo fad that involves extending one’s right hand while kneeling the left knee with the right leg bent. On the English-speaking web, the fad is known as Shootering as it emulates the Shooter’s pose, a military gesture used by navy personnel to signal the release of fighter jets. The fad initially started in late November 2012 on social networking sites following the Chinese navy’s historic fighter jet landing on its first aircraft carrier Liaoning.
On November 27th, 2012, a J-15 fighter jet successfully landed on China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning, marking a milestone for both the military and the country. During the take-off phase of the exercise, two flight deck officers known as shooters were seen giving a hand signal adopted from the U.S. Navy to let the pilot know he was clear for take off.
Almost immediately after the news broadcast, Chinese internet users began photoshopping images of the flight deck officers and sharing photos of themselves mimicking the “shooter” pose on Weibo. On November 27th, collections of the so-called “航母style” photos were featured on a variety of Chinese websites including Huanquiu, Dzwww and 163.com, as well as on English language site Ministry of Tofu. Weibo also set up an event page to share photos of people participating in the fad, where people could vote on the user-submitted images. YouTuber Jun Wang Miao uploaded a compilation video of 航母style that night, earning more than 15,000 views in three days.
Over the following 48 hours, additional collections were posted on Yahoo! China , QQ.com, CQ News, Qianlong, News.cn and Sina Entertainment. English language coverage was provided by The Daily What, Global Post and the Atlantic.