The chin shelf pose is here to stay

It’s the subtlest way to say, ‘I know I’m the best’

If you’re the proud owner of an Instagram account, you’ve seen it a thousand times. A seasoned sorority girl posts about Bid Day – she’s smiling at the camera with one hand under her chin.

Her caption reads something like: “EXCITED for New Members #bidday #gosorority #sisterhood.” You probably wonder what she’s doing. Why can’t she keep her hands by her side? What happened to the ol’ hand-on-the-hip pose?


Well, move aside Skinny Arm, there’s a new pose in town. It’s simple: one hand, palm down, gently resting below the chin. The hand creates platform – a Chin Shelf, if you will.

And it is a phenomenon sweeping the nation – or at the very least, sorority houses everywhere. But what’s the purpose? Why do college women have the instinct to throw up the chin shelf every time they come into contact with a selfie stick? Why has this previously meaningless gesture become an acceptable response to a direct question?


The world needs answers. So, as a college woman who feels she coined the term – and the pose – I am here to provide answers.

First, you’re overthinking it. The reason why we do it is simple. Because it’s cute.


Whether we sent that last Snap to our best friend or our most recent hook-up, you can bet your last dollar it included a chin shelf. He might not know what we’re doing – he might even make fun of us – but he definitely thought we looked hot.

Our best friend will appreciate the cheeky response. She’ll probably even Snap back with a chin shelf. Seriously, it’s contagious.


The chin shelf lets us combine the perfect amount of sassy and sweet into one gesture, all while giving us the chance to subtly show off the color of our most recent manicure. Sometimes a Snap just needs a pop of color – your new nail polish, appropriately named “Devil’s Advocate,” can be that pop of color. Trust me.

Also, it’s simply an excellent non-verbal response to praise. Sometimes we don’t want to seem over-confident in our abilities – we want to at least appear humble. Words can’t always describe how we feel. But a chin shelf? It effortlessly conveys every emotion we’ve ever felt.


“You did such a great job with Recruitment this fall.” Chin shelf.

“You’re an amazing writer.” Chin shelf.

“Why are you perfect?” Chin shelf.


Honestly, it’s a personal pedestal – a way of broadcasting our talents and achievements to the world. It’s the subtlest way to say: “I know I’m the best” – without offending the masses.

One hand. Palm down. Lightly resting under the chin.

Some may call it a trend. I call it a lifestyle.