I was reading an article where this quote appeared:

"... I often receive emails and calls from friends telling me I was just spotted at X corner wearing Y outfit—people observe, comment, notice. Who wouldn't want to look good for those fishbowl moments?"

What does a "fishbowl moment" mean? I tried googling, but no definitions showed up.

2 Answers 2


Here 'fishbowl' is referred as 'a place open to public view and criticism'. It can be a forum, social networking website, where people can discuss and share their thoughts.

Origin of word can be found here on wikipedia. It says, "a form of dialog that can be used when discussing topics within large groups.It allows the entire group to participate in a conversation."

Fishbowl moment means the time when you receive different types of views in the form of comments like agreement or critics.

For example, "It's a fishbowl moment for you, if you receive the answer that you expecting."

  • The 'fishbowl' that you are referring to is management-speak for a particular kind of meeting. 'Being in a fishbowl' is a common metaphor that applies to general social circumstances, not just this particular kind of meeting. And there was no meeting in the OP.
    – Mitch
    Jun 25, 2012 at 13:00

Using the word fishbowl in this context is a metaphor. A fish in a fishbowl has the world staring at it; from the perspective of the fish, nearly anyone can stare at it with curiousity, but it cannot really reciprocate, and has no place to retreat.

The term fishbowl is often applied that way to describe the feelings of celebrities, who may feel very little privacy, even when going to run a small errand – as in, "I feel like a fish in a fishbowl."

A fishbowl moment, then, is a discrete time when someone becomes keenly aware that the whole world (or maybe just the whole neighborhood) is watching them with interest, observing and critiquing even petty details, such as what outfit the person happens to be wearing.

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