An Urban Dictionary search of the term ‘thirst trap’ yields multiple definitions, but we’ll go with the most upvoted one in the name of democracy, simplicity, and relative neutrality (as in, least offensive):
“Any statement or picture used to intentionally create attention or ‘thirst,’” wherein ‘thirst’ means ‘lust’.
Now, let me be clear— we do not mean to throw any shade at Ariel Winter. We got mad love for Ariel Winter! But 99% of folks on Instagram use it as an ego stroke, and beautiful celebrities are no exception. If anything, Ariel Winter’s thirst-trapness gives us life, an example by which to channel our own thirsty tendencies. Like everything else in life, there’s a right way and a wrong way to thirst trap, people, and Ariel Winter is doing it right. Without further ado:
Let’s work our way down:
Multiple full length mirrors: These are staples in almost every girls’ room, but a thirst trap specializes in the full-body-shot-mirror-selfie. The more bodily surface area pictured, the more likes garnered.
Phone obstructing face: If she wanted you to focus on her face, she’d have posted a different picture.
Pout: The only part of the face you can see features a pout, not unlike MKA’s patented ‘prune’.
Mannequin hand: This is a term I just made up and it’s exactly what it sounds like. It almost seems as though there should be a little purse hanging off of her wrist in this picture, but there isn’t, because that isn’t part of her outfit here. A thirst trap knows her angles and knows what to do with her hands in photographs, which is something the rest of us have yet to figure out.
Cleavage AF: Self explanatory. Necessary.
Leotard: Denim shorts unbuttoned so unpractically far down are only remotely acceptable (not completely horrific) when there’s a leotard underneath. You know, ‘less is more’, thirst trap edition.
Unbuttoned denim shorts: See ‘Leotard’.
Christian Louboutin shoebox: A thirst trap doesn’t throw away her designer shoeboxes, she uses them as photo props.
This knee thing: The knee thing, though! Like the mannequin hand but for the knee, it gives off a ‘relaxed yet ready for anything’ vibe while slimming the legs and drawing attention to the abhorred thigh gap.
Messy room: Is there anything more relatable than a messy room? No. A thirst trap knows this. A thirst trap can’t look ace and also live some sort of sterile, super orderly life. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a picture of a messy room with a perfect-looking hot chick is an essay titled “I’m not perfect, what can ya do?”
Appropriate yet somehow still sexually suggestive caption: What I mean by this, is that if you switched out the horse Emoji, the sentence would have an entirely different (read: raunchy) meaning. Also, you might ride some horses? Is that just an excuse to wear cowboy boots, because you don’t need one, Ariel. We love your cowboy boots.
The more of these features one incorporates into the Instagram picture, the higher the number of thirsty saps guaranteed to slide through the DMs. It’s called science.