Remember when people were doing pouty duck lips? In Japan, the pouty-faced look has evolved. The result is "Sparrow Face."
In Japanese, "duck lips" are called "ahiru-guchi" (アヒル口) or literally "duck mouth." This week, Twitter and Japan's biggest online forum have been buzzing over the latest forced expression, which is called "chun-gao" (チュン顔) in Japanese. "Chun" refers to "chun chun" (チュンチュン), which is Japanese for "chirp" or "cheep." "Gao" (顔) means "face." So, literally it's "Chirp Face."
As explained on Japanese morning television (yes, on TV!), when you make this facial expression, you open your eyes as wide as possible, and then you make your mouth like a chirping sparrow. The sparrow bit is important, which is why I'm translating this expression as "Sparrow Face."
Sparrow Face started to make waves earlier this year. There was a how-to guide in a popular women's magazine, and the expression has popped up in television commercials.
If you think it looks like duck lips, I agree with you! There are differences, such as "duck lips" being closer to a smile. I think. Perhaps? Maybe?
One Twitter user isolated the Sparrow Face expression, which might make it easier to understand:
The lips are puckered and opened slightly. Let's compare, but do note some of the expressions below were made ironically:
If that still doesn't help, here's an actual sparrow:
Or perhaps this will help you see it.
OK, now I got it. Thanks!