A few days ago, a 17-year-old Illinois kid put on a tuxedo, swept his hair into a profoundly annoying pompadour and went to Taco Bell to shoot his senior portraits. A handful of news outlets are covering this with breathless headlines like "Teen [...] Wins the Internet" and "Teen's Senior Pictures are All Anyone Can Taco 'Bout." Oh no, there are literally thousands of other things that we can taco 'bout, because this concept is played and played and played out.
Sorry, Andrew McBurnie, but the Taco Bell photoshoot is just about as ubiquitous as that Olan Mills backdrop that looks like a picket fence. I'm not saying that your senior pictures aren't better than mine were: I was timidly holding a wicker chair and gazing uncertainly at my future. I also wore brown lipstick. But, at this point, the only thing that should win the internet is the decision not to pose with a tray of half-eaten hard shell tacos.
"Andrew had seen other senior photos at Taco Bell, but wanted to up the ante by wearing his tux," photographer Wesley Taylor told KXTV. "Immediately the wheels in my head started turning with all sorts of ideas, and the fashion magazine aesthetic was the winner for the final photos and edits."
No. There are no winners here, and there have not been any winners since 2015, when Brittney Nicole Creech did it first. "The girl who started it all," Taco Bell itself says on its website. "Taco Bell senior photos might not even be a thing today if it weren't for Brittany's famous photos." No shit. There has been such an unending string of knockoffs and copycats that Taco Bell has its own section of Senior Photos. Oh Britney. Look at what you've done.
"I didn't know so many people would go on to do the same thing, but I think it's awesome!" Creech told MUNCHIES. "I am very happy to have had my photos start a positive, light-hearted conversation and story, especially in today's world with so much negative and heartbreaking news. I am proud of that."
High schoolers, college seniors, couples, prom attendees, even a Snapchat story: we get it, you love taking formal portraits at Taco Bell. Even babies have done it: earlier this year, little Delta Rose Phillips celebrated her first birthday with a Taco Bell-themed photo shoot (although her folks opted not to take her to an actual restaurant).
Come on, high schoolers. You're supposedly smart and our future leaders and all that shit, so come up with something else that doesn't involve leaning on a drive-through menu, with the blurred bokeh of taillights in the background.
And Taco Bell, it's OK if you act bored too. God knows the rest of us are.