Competitor Blog: Practice Posture

When I first starting posing I would get scolded for looking down. Sand, my posing coach, would ask me what I was looking for on the ground. When you walk on stage you want to have your head up and look the judges right in the eye with a look that says “this is my stage and I am the best thing on it”. You can’t do that with a rounded shoulders and eyes averted.

Over time, I think a lot of women learn this unconscious habit of casting their eyes downwards and slumping forward. It’s as simple as avoiding dealing with other human beings or appearing “too inviting”. If you don’t make eye contact you don’t give another person a chance to try to grab your attention and interact with you. Slumped over you try to make yourself look less noticeable and unassuming. A lot of people will accuse you of “sticking your boobs out” simply from having your shoulders back. If you have ever had to fend off a person’s unwanted and over-zealous attempts at wooing, you totally understand. If you have yet to experience this yet in life, I envy you. 

I also would be scolded for walking like a lumberjack. I can’t help it! I have places to go and no time for a sassy little sashay. But when you step on the stage that is EXACTLY what they want. You can’t stomp out to your spot on the stage, rigidly do your turns and stomp off. Well, you can but it won’t place you very well.

I practice my “girl walk” up and down the straight stretch of hall at my work. It’s relatively low traveled and it’s nice and long. Here I practice how the “girl walk” feels and try very hard not to overthink it. It’s a gentle sway, almost drop of the hip. It is a weird thing to try and explain and I imagine everyone feels it a little different. Once you start focusing too hard on the walk you will lose it.

So I started to make the effort to improve my posture and exude self confidence. Throughout the day I try to correct my posture. I do stretches to help loosen up the front muscles that have been shortened from years of crap posture. I do exercises to fire the back muscles that help pull the shoulders back. When I walk down the street I send mental feelers out to my body; are my shoulders back and posture decent? Do I have my head up? When I am at the gym walking through the floor I give myself a little pep talk “Are they looking at you? Damn right they are looking at you! You own this place. You are the winner of this day and you keep that tiara up high!” It sounds ridiculous but it does really help get you in the brain space you want to be in when you step on stage.

By working in these little bits into my day I am practicing portions of my posing. It is important that you practice posing until it is automatic. That way if your brain tries to freeze come show time your muscle memory will show you the way. If you are not practicing for a show practice for life. Fix that posture!