A poser is any individual who:
a) attempts to be something he or she could never be
b) imitates fiction to the point of vain idolatry
c) seems "pretty fly for a white guy."
Under this broad definition, the vast majority of people are posers, or wannabes, or Holden Caulfield's "phonies." See the Project Mayhem, Vanilla Ice, or King Missile for issues or examples related to poserdom.
Currently owned by its original creator at Curious Labs, Poser is a program used to manipulate and animate preexisting models (usually human figures, but it can handle animals reasonably well) to create static images or animation. It has no internal capacity for modeling.

The most popular use for Poser on the net appears to be the creation of extremely low-quality pornography. A "Pro Pack" add-on was recently released, which allows the program to export animation in a variety of formats, including Flash, Lightwave, and 3D Studio.

The Flash export is essentially standalone, in that it creates a full Flash animation from the Poser file. The other two are plug-ins which allow Poser files to be opened within the high-end graphics packages for decent rendering.

POPJ = P = post

poser n.

[from French `poseur'] A wannabee; not hacker slang, but used among crackers, phreaks and warez d00dz. Not as negative as lamer or leech. Probably derives from a similar usage among punk-rockers and metalheads, putting down those who "talk the talk but don't walk the walk".

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Poserdom and the behaviour that surrounds it is an interesting phenomenon of social behaviour of modern subcultures. "Poser" is the common term for someone who regards himself or herself as part of a particular subculture (punk rockers, hackerdom, metalheads, Star Trek fandom, whatever), but for whatever reason isn't deemed worthy by his or her peers within said subculture. This usually results in a vicious circle, where the poser keeps trying harder, and the established members of the crowd will reinforce their views that he or she is a lowly maggot, not worthy of their esteem. It usually ends with the newcomer either leaving in frustration with a smashed self-esteem, or the in crowd changing their opinion for whatever reason.

While people regarded as posers are sometimes quite annoying, there's a simple behaviour pattern behind this: When you've just found yourself a brand-new identity, you need some time to adjust, to fit yourself into the new mold you've just decided you want to live in. In this adjustment period, most people overcompensate to the point of trying too hard: A newly-hatched hackerling won't open his mouths without an entry from the Jargon File coming out and the young punk-to-be will look as if she just stepped out of a time machine from 1986. They won't hold any opinion that conflicts with the paradigms of their chosen subculture's accepted groupthink. Mainly it comes down to insecurity, which is quite natural when someone is undergoing a (real or illusory) change in identity. Usually, they're just desperately trying to adapt and fit in, without seeming too alien from the subculture in question.

I propose that the collective arrogance of a subculture is directly proportional to its tendency to stick the poser label on its new members. On one end you'd have sci-fi fandom (which tends to accept pretty much anyone who's a bit freaky and reads too much / watches too much of a particular sci-fi universe), and on the other end you'd have computer geekhood (which invents words like "geekhood" to distinguish itself from the normals).

Yes, I am a poser.

I can deny it no longer. I am a poser. The baggy pants, the spiked jewelry, the leather (oh, god, the leather!), it all seemed like a good idea at the time. Two years ago, I fell victim to the music of Green Day and Blink-182, and decided that punk was cool. And, since cool, was definitely not one of the things I had going for me, that I should become a punk. Now, years older and somewhat better educated (if, arguably, less intelligent), I look back and reminisce fondly on my days in the scene.

Ah, good times...

Wearing clothes that looked like I’d stolen them fresh out of some white rapper’s darkest dreams. Mashing with half-a-dozen similarly hardcore kids at my school’s tiny homecoming dance. Listening (and liking!) bands where one, maybe two members actually knew how to play their instruments. The spiked leather bracelets! The spiked leather belt! The leather jacket, with the little metal dongly things which I’m sure served as some medieval torture device!


…I’m still not sure that even all that made me a poser, or if it did, that being a poser is such a bad thing. Punk is supposed to be about giving society the finger, and I tried real hard to get that finger noticed. Do I at least get an ‘A’ for effort?

People who are harder core than thou bandy the term “poser” about with the care and attention to accuracy of your average quake player. What’s so evil about wanting to be something you’re not? Isn’t the simple fact that you want to be “Punk” or “Goth” enough? They say that you can’t decide to be punk, it just kind of happens. Bullshit. Why can’t I just make up my mind and decide to reject society, sneer at conformists, and rip my clothing, all in the space of a thought-(and, probably, weed)-filled weekend? Who knows…

Definitely not me. I’m not a real punk. Just a washed-up loser who tries too hard.

Pos"er (?), n.

One who, or that which, puzzles; a difficult or inexplicable question or fact.



© Webster 1913.

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