Pop Culture, Writing

An Open Letter to People Who Flip Off Cameras



Dear People Who Flip Off  Cameras,

I originally wrote “Dear Douchebags” in my salutation, but didn’t want to seem so bitter. However, that is what you indeed look like, a douchebag, when you flip off the camera.

I’m writing to you today because after viewing the 100th photo of one of your kind flipping off the camera for NO APPARENT REASON on my Facebook feed yesterday, something in me snapped: I began deleting your kind from my friend list. It takes a lot for me to de-friend someone (the only other people I delete are the ones who post about Jesus, IN CAPS, every ten minutes- do you want to fall into the same category as them?), but I got so tired of being flipped off for shits and giggles that I decided to remove any trace of your unnecessary sign language from my vision. Now, of course, because you are the sort of person who likes to flip off the camera, and likes to show the world that you have a laissez-faire attitude towards life, you would respond to my previous statement with, “HATERS GONNA HATE! I AM WHO I AM AND ANYONE WHO CAN’T HANDLE IT, FUCK ‘EM!”

Yep. You win.

Let’s get back to the laissez-faire attitude. Maybe that’s not the right word, since flipping off the camera is more of a sign of aggression than indifference.

WHAT THE F ARE YOU SO MAD ABOUT? Especially you, the cute little hipster girls who work at Urban Outfitters and have nothing to actually hate on. Your school, car and apartment are paid for by your parents; you have nothing to remotely complain about. If you’re flipping off the camera because you’re mimicking the gestures of the older, male hipsters dudes that you sleep with and who ultimately dump your ass because they want to focus their energies on their band that is going nowhere, then I feel sorry for you. You have a brain and your momma taught you better. And as for you older dudes, snap out of it! The pretty party girls might find it endearing, but potential employers don’t. Unless you’re applying to “Flipping off Cameras r’ Us”.

I’m sure you’re all good people at heart, and I hope this is just an ugly phase like ass crack jeans or ironic tattoos that you’ll be ashamed to show your future children. I guess what I really want to know is why? Why do it? Why is it that your first inclination when someone says “smile for the camera!” is to flash one or two birds at the picture taker and therefore the world? You’re not a celebrity escaping the paparazzi, you’re not a singer trying to convey a tough image and you’re mostly definitely not a cantankerous elderly person taking a photo to be used on greeting cards for Spencer’s Gifts.

I hate to break it to you, but NO ONE finds your flipping off the camera photos cute, except for others who like to flip off the camera.

May I suggest using your hands for good and not evil? What the hell ever happened to the peace sign? Rabbit ears? Taylor Swift hearts?

Yours truly,

Confused and Scared for Humanity



Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply april dawne November 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I used to be one of these, when I was 14. So, mine was all about teen angst, new wave music and punk rock. I’m not sure about these folks. If i flip off a camera now it’s because, I either 1) Don’t want to have my picture taken or 2) I really don’t like the photographer. Both of those are rare occurrences.

    Just my 2 cents. And this made me laugh when I read it.

    • Reply hipstercrite November 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      punk rock makes sense. hipster kids on red river don’t.

  • Reply Ivan Toblog November 28, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Yeah, I’m kinda scared for humanity, too

    The use of foul language and such sign language have been cheapened to the point of being almost meaningless to newer generations

    I fear the next step could be some kind of escalation

    • Reply hipstercrite November 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      lord of the flies…

    • Reply Deez Nuts March 4, 2016 at 7:18 am

      yeah, humanicy has gone downhill

  • Reply egoiste November 28, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I agree! add fake gang signs and duckface and sidetongue to the list and we’re game, set and match. we’ll save fingerstaches for another day

    • Reply hipstercrite November 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      How about the deuce sign?

      • Reply egoiste November 29, 2012 at 11:08 am

        you advocated for the peace sign, so I figured it partnered with dueces.
        now, finger guns to the temple? that’s just asinine.
        I don’t really like posed pictures anyway =]

  • Reply yppahi November 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Thank you for this. My very first impression of my young niece’s much older live-in boyfriend was of him flipping the bird and grabbing his crotch in a FB post. Why? WHY? GET AWAY FROM MY BABY NIECE YOU JACKHOLE

  • Reply Tolly November 29, 2012 at 9:27 am

    You know what bothers me even more than flipping off the camera?

    People (it’s almost always a guy) who point at the *other* person while looking at the camera.

    I’m not sure why this aggravates me so much…maybe bc it looks like a studied “cool guy” gesture, or something?

  • Reply Joanna December 3, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    If anyone ever does this to me I just keep taking photos of them because I know it annoys them. And they annoy me.

  • Reply DB December 5, 2012 at 4:12 pm


  • Reply Momo November 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    This is the best letter ever! I’ve been asking this question for so long now and still, the answer eludes me. Thank you for at least expressing my inner most thoughts so perfectly.

  • Reply High School Photographer November 28, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I hate it when I am taking pictures for the band, or for the sake of my high school having plenty of pictures for Project Celebration. Reason: People give me the bird, but they do it as if it were funny or makes them look cool. Personally, I think they need to learn some manners and get themselves straight. Someone who doesn’t like another persons negative actions doesn’t make them a hater. Hater: ‘A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success.’.. And I don’t think flicking off the camera does that person any success!

  • Reply Fara C October 26, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Soooooo well said!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Reply Benjamin Dover January 19, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Thank you for the open letter, it felt good to read it. I have recently seen many of the simple minded bird poses while searching for information on potential employees. You are right, I am not impressed. How did I find your letter? I did a google search, asking the question, “why do people flip the bird in pictures?” I really appreciate what you wrote. I can now continue on knowing that it is because they are douch bags.

  • Reply Me June 30, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Fuck you.

  • Reply Jai June 28, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Like B Dover,
    I did the same search….baffled and confused. It really is a sad reflection on our current state and an unfortunate predictor of where we are heading….. I so often shake my head that a few brain cells may have become dislodged. It’s just a sad sad world of crazy we now live in.

  • Reply Bob not bitchen March 3, 2017 at 10:09 am

    I try to flip off the camera every time as it insures the picture/pictures will not be published in the family album, on the work bulletin board or shared on family media. The fact that I haven’t consented to my picture being taken deserves the flip every time. I have yet to flip off the camera in a photo I have consented to. Perception is reality 🍻

  • Leave a Reply