What is a thirst trap? Meaning of picture explained | The Sun02/10/2023
IT'S something celebrities, your favorite influencers and even your friends are guilty of.
Posting thirst traps are a sure-fire way to blow up your comment section and likes. But what actually are they?
What is a thirst trap?
A thirst trap is defined as a sexy or flirty photo intended to attract social media users' attention.
Simply put, it means the poster is trying to trap someone into admitting their thirst – in this case, their allure – to you.
They just need a helpful nudge in the form of a jaw-dropping snap to get them to profess their interest in you.
It has also been described as a modern form of fishing for compliments.
Originating in the early 2010s, the phrase has become associated with the likes of Kim Kardashian, who posts sexy bikini pics to spark a social media buzz.
The trend was born as a result of selfie culture and was coined by Twitter users.
But it has since been adopted in mainstream society, with media outlets often using the phrase thirst trap.
So much so, that #ThirstTrapThursdays are a regular occurrence on picture-sharing platforms such as Instagram.
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A 2019 study by Four Loko found that residents in Miami post the most flirty snaps in the US.
Is thirst trap a compliment?
The term can be used as both a compliment and an insult.
Dubbing a snap a thirst trap suggests the social media user has deemed it an attractive image most of the time.
It tells the poster that their mission to trap their admirers was a success if they understood its purpose.
However, some people may be offended when their upload is labeled as a thirst trap.
The comment may be intended to imply that the poster is being boastful of their appearance and attention-seeking.
The context and content of the remark will typically give you a hint as to whether the person is saying it in admiration or to offend.
What are thirst traps used for?
Essentially, thirst traps are posted by people with the hopes of gaining online validation and admiration.
The majority of people are motivated to share a tantalizing snap on social media to gain likes and flattering comments.
Others may post thirst traps to express their sexuality, boost their personal brand, or show their ex what they are missing.
Psychotherapist Tiffany Rowland told Parade: "The thirst is the need or craving for attraction and the trap is used to lure one in to provide the wanted attention.
"A thirst trap isn’t gender-specific, it’s more of a desire to be chosen or wanted by others."
She warned that they can be detrimental to social media users' self-esteem if the post does not have the desired effect.
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Rowland added: "Thirst traps can be challenging for the original poster because they can create a superficial image or ideal about themselves which they will be expected to live up to.
"If you’re not looking for attention or the opinions of others, then be mindful about participating in the game of thirst trap."
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