This post is part of a series examining 1950s era charm, poise, and beauty using Secrets of Poise, Personality, and Model Beauty written by modeling agency and schools icon John Robert Powers and published by Prentiss-Hall in 1960.
Posture can make or break a beauty ~ John Robert Powers
You can be the most beautiful woman on earth but poor posture can destroy your appearance. Our mid-century beauty mentor, Mr. Powers, dedicates an entire chapter to the importance of good posture. But before we examine his lessons, let’s take a few minutes to discuss the impact of poor posture on our health. The truth of the matter is that our posture is indicative of our body’s core strength.
Without proper alignment and strength in our core, our diaphragm is unable to do its job and our lungs are unable to fully expand so that our bodies and brains get the oxygen they need to fully function. If you’re feeling foggy-brained, your posture may be the culprit.
If our upper back isn’t strong to counteract the constant forward motion of our arms (we don’t type or chop food behind us, after all), our shoulders slump forward and our chin starts to jut out. Our breasts sag and hang down by our waists instead of our chest where they belong. Sometimes it isn’t the bra but rather the posture that needs adjusting…
A swayback (my own nemesis), encouraged by weak abdominal muscles, gives the illusion of a poochy stomach while also causing all sorts of low back problems. “Lose” five pounds instantly by tilting the hips under where they belong.
My favorite description for proper posture and body alignment is to imagine that there is a string that is pulling through the top of your head. There should be a straight line going from your ears through the shoulders, down to the center of the hips, through the center of your knees and ending at the center of your foot. This gives us effortless posture…after all, we don’t want the exaggerated posture of a Marine who just finished Basic Training! You know you have it right if your hips are “tucked under,” your chin is parallel to the floor, and you will be able to wiggle your toes around.
Many readers have joined me in the “Only Own Beautiful Clothes in 2012 Challenge” (see the calendar for the date of the next virtual retreat so that you can join in, too). But owning clothes that reflect our own personal styles can only go “so far.” If we have poor posture, we are going to look and be unhealthy. Even a $10,000 dress can’t counteract that!