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Sparrow Face is an Internet slang term used to describe a facial expression made by slightly parting one’s lips with eyes wide open. Since its initial appearance on the Japanese web in February 2013, the Sparrow Face has become known as a popular alternative to Duck Face in selfie photography.
As early as February 2013, the trend took off in Japan as “チュン顔” or “ちゅん顔 ,” which translates to chun-gao or “chirp face.” On February 5th, 2013, Fashionsnap.com noted the slightly agape smile was popular in the Japanese fashion magazine AneCan, comparing the look to to Duck Face and “てへぺろ,” , a Japanese photo fad that involves sticking one’s tongue out to the side of the mouth. Six days later, similar selfies began appearing on Instagram under the hashtag “ちゅん顔” (shown below).
On October 11th, 2013, a thread about Sparrow Face was created on the text board of 2channel, where discussion ensued over the face’s popularity in media. Three days later, Kotaku translated many posts from the thread into English, noting a guide on how to recreate the expression had appeared in a print Japanese magazine (shown below).
Also on October 14th, Sparrow Face photos were highlighted on Neatorama, The GlossBuzzFeed. The same day, a Facebook fan page for the expression was created. On October 16th, the Daily Mail reported that a number of celebrities including actress Ashley Tisdale (shown below, left), model Cara Delevingne (shown below, center) and Miley Cyrus (shown below, right) had been partaking in this look on their personal Instagram accounts. Over the next several days, E! Online, My Fox NY and RyanSeacrest.com investigated the popularity of the expression with celebrities on social media. On October 19th, Digital Trends looked at other popular trends within selfie photography including “Fish Lips” and “Snapchat Face,” as illustrated in the photo fad Pretty Girls, Ugly Faces
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