It’s common, when girls kissed passionately, will subconsciously kick their leg back. If you’ve been living under a rock forever, and don’t know what we’re talking about, refer to the iconic clip from The Princess Diaries.
Sure, the quixotic comedies of the ‘90s may have popularised the foot pop. But it could be decades older than that. In fact, it might even date back to the iconic Times Square kiss photo from the end of World War II (which has since thought to have been staged…because of the foot pop), where a surprised girl somehow manages to slightly lift her leg in the middle of kissing a just-back-from-the-war solider.
Since that iconic embrace, couples on the silver screen have, in a way, inherently fooled the dating public. We have since been taught that, in order to truly show that a kiss is screen-worthy, a foot pop is essential.
But, as Justin Garcia of the Kinsey Institute pointed out to Salon, though the discipline behind affection has been thoroughly studied, there is absolutely no definitive evidence or scientific research to suggest that either sex, let alone girls, actually lift their leg in subconscious bliss mid-kiss.
“I don’t know of any data about why girls raise their leg during a kiss in movies. I suspect it’s socially scripted—a way to express love or passion, like a toe curl. But, I don’t think anyone has ever looked at how well that body movement is documented, and if so in what gender, and also, if so, what kissing behaviors elicit it,” he said.
Further, when real girls were asked whether or not they ever implemented this movie trope, most answered that they had never done it, though some shared a sense of guilt attributed to the feelings of passion that they felt they weren’t expressing without occasionally buying into said trope and lifting their leg in the name of the tradition. And, as surprising as it is that this trope hasn’t been further investigated, it just goes to show that it’s a trend that seems to only stick on the silver screen. Foot pop, as it turns out is a merely a sign of the movie—not a sign of the times.