Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tempest in a Teapot

Source: Madeleine
I occasionally receive emails from a reader who always finds something to criticize. Usually, her criticism is related to dressing my age. She is of the opinion that I should dress like an elderly woman.

Her latest missive was in regards to the outfit I wore to the GLAD reception on Sunday. For a change, she did not complain about what I wore.

"Congratulations. you finally look like a woman... No shoulders, knees or excessive amount of legs showing as would be the case with every well dressed 60 plus woman. They are so unattractive."

But she would not leave well enough alone and found something to criticize.

"Please, one final request. Don’t stand looking like a teapot with your arm on your hip. I have never seen any woman adopting that pose."


Does that mean all those women I see posing with their arms on their hips are not women?

As luck would have it, a recent Who What Wear newsletter had articles titled "10 Easy Steps to Looking More Photogenic" and "The Worst Poses to Strike in Photos (and How to Make Them Better)."

The latter offered this advice from Getty Images photographer Mike Coppola:
DON'T just stand there with your arms by your side.
DO put one or both hands on your waist. 
"Do put one or both hands on your waist like Gigi [model Gigi Hadid] to create negative space between your body and your arms. This also creates a beautiful line up to the face. You can choose to put one hand on your hip or both if you are taking a photo solo." Coppola says.
Both Who What Wear articles have great advice for posing for photos. They are recommended reading because you know how girls like us (elderly or otherwise) like to pose for photos!

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus (Source: Venus).

Paolo Ballesteros
Filipino actor Paolo Ballesteros


  1. Catherine SmithApril 27, 2017

    Well... I think she has a point to a degree and think I know what she is trying to say. It does look a bit OTT (over the top) and has a certain "look at me" message. There will be times when this pose wouldn't look out of place - such as in a fashion magazine advertising clothes, on a catwalk or when dressed up after a few drinks and at a party. Also when in a group of girls all dressed to the nines and sort of competing for the photographer’s attention. The best decision on this kind of pose is to look at as many 'everyday' photographs of real women either alone or in groups and see what appears to be the most common type of stance. I'll bet you there won't be many stood with hands on hips, elbows out and staring at the ceiling! Another pose that also gets adopted is one knee higher than the other with both feet on the floor, as if you can't wait to go and have a pee, or one knee bent and the foot about 4 inches off the floor. Both poses are just that - a bit 'posy' and have their place in photography but not in every photograph. So be wise in which photograph you pick to appear this way. As usual in this sort of discussion, ask a group of real women their opinion and take their advice.
    Regards, Catherine.

  2. You rocked that dress, and showing a little attitude in a pose is quite is posing after all. Jealously runs rampant in women over each others fashion, be flattered people are noticing! You go girlfriend!

  3. Kindness matters, as community we could at least support each other. The whole world is taking shots at us. Let's be true brothers and sisters and help each other. Constructive criticism has it's place but should always be offered in an environment of love and support.

    1. Occasionally, I run into sisters who are not supportive, which makes no sense in this day and age.

  4. Seriously?

    I mean, I think that photo you linked looks just fine. You look happy and your dress is lovely. Frankly, I would never dream of raining on someone else's parade and I can't scry a method I would be able to use to do so.

    I know many women IRL and all of them have their quirks and foibles. And it is precisely because of those quirks and foibles, and their comfort with them, that they can be attractive and happy. I have yet to be able to form any useful opinion on how people look without knowing something about who they are. I read your blog a lot and feel I know you well enough to comment on your appearance and I would argue that it matches who you are. Hand on hip is, well, you. I have no clue what women your age are supposed to look like - every woman (and man, every person) is different. They are, well, them. You are you.

    And that photo is a good photo.

    That's all I got.

  5. Sally StoneApril 27, 2017

    Stana, you look absolutely stunning in pose and with what you are wearing. Don't change a thing. And, try as I might, I can't find the rules that state as we approach a certain age, we are required to look and dress a certain way. The notion that we can't flaunt certain styles because of our age is simply preposterous.



    1. I dress my age, which in my mind is 39! LOL

      Thank you, Sally!

  6. When you put your hand on your hip, or stand arms akimbo, do you think about which way to hold your hand or do you automatically do it "girly" (thumbs back)?

    1. Never thought about it, but now that you mention it, I do it automatically "girly" (thumbs back).