Hmmm. I’ve been wondering about the V-sign Bella and her friends throw in every picture they take and Corrina came up with some info. Here is Corrina’s email on the subject:
“After reading your blog and your inquiry about why Bella always throws the peace sign, I asked my co-worker about it. Heâ€™s an avid photographer as are most of my co-workers. I noticed that most of my co-workers also throw the peace sign when getting photographed, and someone had told me that it was an anime thing. My Korean roommates and their friends do the peace sign for photos too. So when I asked Charles at work about it, he e-mailed me back and said, â€œyou mean why do Asians throw the peace sign for photos?â€ And I said, well, my niece happens to be half Korean, but she lives in Joshua Tree. So he sent me back this info:
it’s funny you asked. i was curious myself and did my own research a while back. i found the answer including the history of “why asians do the peace sign when taking pictures”. i actually have the document in my phone since this topic always happens to come up ESPECIALLY among asians…
The V Sign
The V sign is a hand gesture in which the first and second fingers are raised and parted, whilst the remaining fingers are clenched. Generally considered a “Victory” sign, it can also carry connotations of “Peace” and “Defiance”. In Asia, the gesture is often used by persons posing in photographs, with no necessary particular meaning.
The V-sign is an ancient sign. It stands for the letter V for Victory. Victory over an opponent. Victory in War with, at the end of it, Peace!! The sign itself does not mean Peace, but rather Victory in Battle after a gruelsome slaughtering fight between opposing camps. The sign was widely introduced by Sir Winston Churchill, the Second World War Prime Minister of Great Britain, Europe, when the war was won over Germany. Early on in the war he used palm in (sometimes with a cigar between the fingers). Later in the war he used palm out.
Japan and the V Sign
During the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, figure skater Janet Lynn stumbled into Japanese pop culture when she fell during a free-skate period, but continued to smile even as she sat on the ice. Though she placed only 3rd in the actual competition, her cheerful diligence and indefatigability resonated with many Japanese viewers, making her an overnight celebrity in Japan. Afterwards, Lynn (a peace activist) was repeatedly seen flashing the V sign in the Japanese media. Though the V sign was known of in Japan prior to Lynn’s use of it there, she is credited by some Japanese for having popularized its use in amateur photographs. Perhaps due to Japanese cultural influence, the V sign in photographs has become popular with young Koreans as well. Thus, spreading throughout other asian countries.
Through the 1970s and 1980s in Japan, the V sign was often accompanied by a vocalization: “piisu!” This gairaigo exclamation, which stood for “peace”, has since fallen into disuse, though the V sign itself remains steadfastly popular. Saying the the word â€œpeaceâ€ when posing for a photograph may also be another way of saying â€œcheeseâ€.
An additional significance to this sign is seen in the anime show, Ranma. In one episode, a character repeatedly attempts to take surreptitious pictures of Ranma, to catch him off guard. But the photographer is disappointed that, upon developing, every photo features him looking at the camera and displaying this sign, indicating that he was aware at every instance of the pursuit. Hence, the sign could indicate a posed photograph.
â€¦sooo, I guess itâ€™s just made its way all over popular culture (unless Bella and/or her friends happen to be into anime). The increase in availability of cameras and access to the photos themselves probably has helped spread this phenom.