live laugh blog πŸ‘½

kissy lips won't delete πŸ’‹

since the dawn of time, mainstream operating systems have offered a set of default avatars to choose from when creating your user profile. these avatars often had no context related to the software they came with – last night i learned that andy's old xbox 360 avatar was a pair of lemons. naturally, i had to introduce him to the iconoclast, my own founding mother of default avatars: the macosx kissy lips.

a small square illustration of a 45-degrees-rotated pink lipstick print

these lips were my default avatar from the moment they were available. it absolutely sent some of my academic colleagues into a spiral of performative worrying about my being taken seriously, definitely not an admission that their rubric for respect includes what a grown woman chooses as the default user avatar of her fucking computer. in fact, the reaction to me making the kissy lips my avatar lead me to double down on it which became a major theme in not just my art, but my career moves as well.

the kissy lips are cute as hell. they went perfect with my "princess jenn" terminal greeting which i'd still have today if apple didn't pull a flash on bash as i was entering my "too busy to care about my dot files anymore" era. moving on...

it was really hard to find any info on the origin of the kissy lips, let alone a hi-res image of it. please let me know if you know the story of them. i assumed that susan kare made them but the only kissy lips in her book of icons – which, major flex alert, i have a signed copy of – is the one she made for facebook - perhaps they are related?

photo of me holding up susan kare's "icons" book opened up to the page of the facebook kiss mark "one of the most popular facebook virtual gifts--love and happiness" that's similar but very different in texture and color and not rotated as much as the maxos icon

what wasn't hard to find were people asking about them, and by that i mean losing their minds trying to remove it.

screenshot of my phone where i was googling "mac os default pink lips" and all of the results are forum posts from people desperate to remove the image as their default avatar, some calling them "horrifying pair of pink lips" and "kissy lips won't delete" which is where i got the title of this blog post

while apple steers you towards using emoji or mememoji as your default avatar these days, i was delighted to find that we can still set default avatars as the kissy lips. come on, everyone, join me! you can find them under suggestions > classic when you click to edit your avatar in the apple id settings.

screenshot of my apple id settings showing the "suggestions" section of avatar choices and under "Classic" i have chosen the classic kissy lips

in a future blog post i'll show you how the kissy lips shaped my philosophy and subjects of art. until then, πŸ’‹ mwah!

xoxo jenn

this was published June 22, 2024 under tech art computers apple macos lips