Miami Is the Number One Thirst Trap City in America

Stay thirsty, Miami.
Stay thirsty, Miami. Photo by Amadeus McCaskill
Is your Instagram feed full of abs and cleavage? You must be from Miami.

That, at least, is the takeaway of a new study of provocative online photos titled "Thirst Trap USA."

Commissioned by Four Loko (because of course it was), the study asked researchers to analyze more than 60,000 Instagram images in 50 U.S. cities, as well as ten cities across the rest of the world. The results show that for every 1,000 photos posted in Miami, 36 are "thirst traps," AKA photos designed to get viewers a little hot and bothered.

The phrase "thirst trap" is often assumed to refer exclusively to women. But for Four Loko's purposes, a thirst trap is a photo of anyone revealing skin for the sake of sexiness. It's 2019, OK?

If you live in Miami, that 36:1,000 ratio might actually sound low. But consider that the second-highest-ranking city, Los Angeles, tallied 26 thirst traps per 1,000 photos, nearly a third fewer than the Magic City. Miami truly is a leader in the field of getting nearly naked for the 'gram.

Internationally, only one city bested Miami's proclivity for skinstagrams: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with a ratio of 39:1,000.

Because you are of course concerned about the science behind a Four Loko study, the company wants you to know these stats are legit: "In order to conduct a fair analysis we had to establish and maintain strict standards in the face of an obviously subjective topic." Researchers defined a "thirst trap" as a photo that goes above and beyond a merely sexy image by showing a "considerable display of skin (revealing abs, belly buttons, butts, and close-ups of legs or breasts)." Thirsty poses were admitted too: "We also counted images where the body is clothed in a normal manner but the subject is clearly flaunting a particular body part (most common example being an over-the-shoulder booty shot at the gym)."

Photos by professional photographers, ads for adult services, and shots in which subjects were doing some sort of activity, rather than posing exclusively for thirst's sake, were deemed ineligible.

Way to put it all out there, Miami.

You can read the full study at
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Ciara LaVelle is New Times' former arts and culture editor. She earned her BS in journalism at Boston University and moved to Florida in 2004. She joined New Times' staff in 2011.
Contact: Ciara LaVelle