The Four Cutest Ways to Photograph Yourself Hugging Third-World Children

african children

So, you’re going abroad to an underdeveloped country. Good for you! Everyone is already impressed with your bravery and selflessness, but it’s important to make sure your help and goodwill have the most lasting effects – on social media! If Oprah and Angelina have taught us anything, it’s that giving solely for the sake of giving is a missed photo op and a waste of everyone’s time. The following photo tips may not give your host family easier access to clean drinking water, or provide them protection against parasitic worms and merciless warlords, but they will ensure that everyone you know sees that you are basically a living saint.

1. Cradling the child to your bosom.

The classic shot. Instantly invokes images of the Blessed Virgin Mary and that sad dust bowl mom. For added poignancy, stare off into the distance. Suggested caption: Any lyric from “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston.

2. While playing sports with all of the village children.

Women playing sports is already adorable, so this one is a no-brainer. Add a dusty, remote shanty town as a backdrop, and you’re golden. Suggested caption: “Who needs a personal trainer when you have these little cuties to kick your butt? Just kidding, Todd, I’ll be back in a few weeks, get those kettlebells ready!”


3. While wearing traditional native garb.

Really emphasize your newfound reverence for this developing country’s unique culture by incorporating it into your look. Be careful about camera angles though; dashikis do NOT cinch at the waist! Suggested caption: “I let my little host sister give me a makeover, and this is the most naturally beautiful I’ve ever felt in my life!”

4. The Family Portrait.

This quintessential shot of you and your host family (with you crouched down with their children, obviously) will show everyone how fully accepted, appreciated, and adored you are by the very people you came to help. Suggested caption: “They ended up teaching me more than I could ever teach them.” Or any lyric from Wicked’s “For Good.”
The most important thing to remember about your trip is that one person can’t really make a difference in the world, but she CAN look beautiful and benevolent while trying. You will forever cherish the posts you made on your timeline, so invest in a nice camera and get posting for all your family, friends, and vague acquaintances to see! After all, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does its Klout score go up? And if NPR never sends you your tote bag, was it even worth it to donate?


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4 responses to “The Four Cutest Ways to Photograph Yourself Hugging Third-World Children”

  1. margot says:

    This is such a bad article, stereotyping both population. Yes it’s true it happens and its disrespectful, now you can’t make a judgement from a single picture without the culture, the context and the experience of everyone in this picture. Stop being bitchy and please, retain yourself from comment such as ‘Women playing sports is already adorable”. As a women, and so you are?, I find this comment profundly disrespectful

    • Jess Morgan says:

      …I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume English isn’t your first language.
      This article is what you might call Satire: Basically the whole thing is written backwards. Whatever it says? It means the opposite.

      • jaimes1480 says:

        sshhhhhhh…. these articles are literally worthless without the clueless comments section. i literally can’t. #icant #literallycant #icanteven #iliterallydied

      • Mr. Africa says:

        The fact that it is sarcastic does not mean that there is no message in the text. The message here is that women (apparently not men) who go to 3rd world countries and feel they make a connection with the locals they meet and interact with should shut up about it and under no circumstances share their photos on facebook (unless they bring them access to clean drinking water). It seems the author of this crap feels that the only reason these women (again, why not men?) go to these place is, not to expand their horizons, but instead to make them self look good to others back home – wherever that may be. Im guessing in the West. I wonder how this hack feels about asians doing the same thing in Africa. Or Africans from another, richer, part of the continent. I completly agree with margot: This is rubbish written by someone who’s never bothered to go anywhere, instead opting to just have an opinion about “annoing” stuff other people do.