Bambi Pose, Decoded—a Body Language Specialist Weighs In

We asked a professional what the Instagram phenomenon really means

By Raleigh Seldon Jun 13, 2017 6:29 PMTags

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Celebs like Kylie Jenner and Bella Hadid are Bambi Posing (a term coined by editor Julie Schott) all over the place.

They do it poolside, at the beach, on a yacht, mid-music video—literally everywhere. So what does it mean? We asked body language expert and behavior analyst Blanca Cobb to decode the Instagram phenomenon for us, and it's really interesting.

You can gauge, just from scrolling through your own feed, that the position is sexy and seductive with a heavy dose of innocence (Bambi is a young deer, after all), but there's actually a lot more to it.

So without further ado, here's what it really means when you're sat in Bambi Pose.

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"The Bambi pose is provocatively seductive," Blanca started. "It's seductive because from head-to-toe the position screams sensual—the woman sitting with her thighs over her calves, legs partially spread open, tush jutting out over her heels, an arched back, which elongates the torso, shoulders pushed back, which pushes breasts out, head tilt and coy facial expressions."

More than that, it's "provocative also because the image makes you think of a sexual position, where the woman is on top of her partner, which allows her to have control of the action."

She continued, "When you take photos in this pose you're not only seductively inviting attention, but also owning your sexiness. Sensual posing is one way to showcase your confidence." Meaning: There are definitely some pros to this action—the major one being, in that moment, you're comfortable in the skin you're in.

But there are two sides to this coin. 

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"The Bambi Pose is visually alluring and sexually suggestive. And yet, it's dichotomous. It's as empowering as it is objectifying," the expert added. "Empowering because a woman poses in ways that makes her feel fabulous, beautiful, alluring. And yet, objectifying because it perpetuates women as sexual objects. The behavior is positive, as a way to express yourself, yet [there are dangers to it as well]." 

Basically, by assuming the position you're exuding self-assurance and control—all good things—but the downside is it's open for interpretation by others. How one thing is perceived to you, can be digested in a completely different light by others, leaving room for a translation you may not want to portray.

"The danger of these images on social media is for both girls and boys," she noted. "Girls who see the massive amount of attention and "likes" want to emulate these images because they think that's what boys want. And boys get a false sense of what makes girls attractive. Girls' worth shouldn't be based on their perceived sexiness. This perspective continues to endanger healthy views of girls."

So there you have it: Like everything, there are pros and cons to this IG-famous pose, but will you continue to post even though we might be giving our youth the wrong impression? Or do we keep it up for reasons of our own self confidence? No one can answer that, but you. 

And at least now you have the tools to make that judgement calculatedly.