Today we have another fabulous guest post from Roberta Crumplin of Big Day Big Picture. Her latest topic is bad posture (erm, guilty!) – something I wouldn’t even have thought of, but which could potentially ruin those all-important wedding pics. (And as a photographer, she should know!) We all want to look good in wedding pictures, and it turns out that perfect posture is your secret weapon! Thanks for your words of wisdom, Roberta – those photos got me heading straight over to the Pilates studio!
I’m a big busted girl. My mom, bless her cotton socks, is not. So learning how to move through the world with big attention grabbing boobs was something I had to figure out all by myself. Like a lot of girls and women with big boobs, one of the things I ‘learnt’ was that slouching your shoulders and hunching your back makes your boobs look smaller. Going grocery shopping with smaller boobs is a lot less annoying than going grocery shopping with big boobs. Actually most things are a lot less annoying – men tend to have conversations with your face and women tend not to give you the evil death stare of big boob jealousy.
As I grew older a couple of things clicked into place. People judge you accordingly to how you look – sad, but true. So if you walk around hunched over you appear timid or scared or lazy or lacking in backbone. I realised that that’s not how I wanted to be perceived. I also realised that slouching made me look fatter and, after quitting smoking for the umpteenth time and putting on yet more kilos (which went straight to those big boobs and their corollary – my big butt), I figured that looking fatter just wasn’t something that I wanted. I also didn’t want to diet. Diets, as my husband always reminds me, are for quitters. (I love my husband :) ) So I started doing yoga and Pilates and the difference they have made to my posture has been unbelievable. I feel strong, vital, energised. And I like to think that people perceive me in that way or that they perceive me as having backbone. I also look thinner. I’m not, mind you – the scale doesn’t lie – but because everything stacks up neatly with no bulges or stoops I definitely appear thinner!
Loads of brides spend months getting into shape for their wedding. They go to tanning salons, they get new and interesting bits of themselves waxed, they get nail extensions and go on crazy diets – but very few of them ever work on their posture and I have to admit that for me that’s really sad, because I see beautiful, interesting, funny woman who stoop and draw in on themselves and so don’t show the world just how gorgeous they really are. To illustrate my point, I’ve taken some photos (and while no brides were injured during the shooting of these pics I have to admit my ego took a bit of a busting – yes, that’s me in the photos. If you’re wondering what happened to my head . . . bad posture does horrific things for double chins!).
See how the curve in my back and the weight of my shoulders and boobs dropping down makes my belly stick out? And when you have bad posture it translates into your neck and chin – look at that crazy turkey neck I’ve got going on there!
Correcting that isn’t as simple as standing up straight and pulling in your belly. Well, it is, but it isn’t. You need to take your shoulders back and down; try it – it’ll automatically make your boobs stick out. But you also need to bring your tail bone in to correct the arch in your back:
In the first picture above I’ve just brought my shoulders back – see the bulge in my tummy still. Then, if you push your upper back too far backwards you get back-fat (yes, you can see it bulging in the middle shot). The shot on the far right shows shoulders back and down, tail bone tucked in, neck long, chin parallel to the ground (great for helping hide a double chin). Looks like I’m 5kg lighter or I’ve photoshopped the photo right? I’m not and I haven’t. I’m just standing properly. Which is something everyone can do! And because I’m standing properly I barely have to pull in my tummy – which means that I’m comfortable (and this was shot after a steak dinner and going out for a friend’s birthday and eating cream-cheese filled chocolate cupcakes – dieting is absolutely for losers!).
(One note – if you too are blessed with big boobs, even good posture won’t make a boob tube work for your wedding dress. The elastic at the top pushes your boobs down, and this in turn puts weight on the top of your tummy and helps to weight your shoulders down. Unless you have the core strength of Wonder Woman and the plastic boobs of Pamela Anderson I wouldn’t recommend it!)
HOW GOOD POSTURE CAN BANISH A DOUBLE CHIN IN YOUR PHOTOS
If you have a double chin, chances are you also have bad posture and you’re holding your head badly. You’re either allowing your chin to drop forward or you’re dropping your head back (both indicate low muscle tone):
Bizarrely, a lot of people with double chins purposely drop their heads back for photographs to ‘hide’ the extra neck rolls. This just shows up the double chin even more than if they stood normally. Also notice how rounded my shoulders are in the pic of me with my head back.
To counteract your double chin, practice standing up straight by scooping your tail bone forward, pulling your belly button towards your spine, opening up your rib cage and taking your shoulders back and down. When you’ve gotten all of that down pat, hold your head so that your chin is parallel to the ground:
One final tip for your photographs: make sure that your photographer gets a good few of you from above (this works wonders at helping to hide those extra folds!)
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