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SLOUCH #3There is a young actress who co-stars on an extremely popular, long-running sitcom. During Season 1, this cute blonde was supposed to be rather dumb and insecure about her lack of smarts, since she was hanging out with a bunch of geniuses. Her acting was so-so, but her posture filled in the blanks: It was terrible and her slouch conveyed her insecurity better than any words could have.

Skip forward to Season 3. The actress’ character has grown more self-assured, her acting has improved and guess what: She now stands up straight, at least most of the time.

Why do I bring this up? To point out that a pretty or handsome face means very little if the body on which it rests is bent over like an old lady with a dowager’s hump. What causes this ugly phenomenon in so many young people today? Here are my theories:

1. Backpacks. Too many of them that are far too heavy, worn for too many formative years. The only way to balance is to lean forward.
2. Breasts. Lots of teenage girls are embarrassed by developing them and think that by bending their shoulders forward they can fool the world into thinking they don’t have any…yet.
2. Coolness. There is a certain stance adopted by a lot of teens that is meant to look cool. The entire body is curled into an “S” shape – shoulders curved, hips thrust forward, legs bringing up the rear – and a cigarette might be dangling loosely from a clammy hand. Yech. This is cool?!

Notice that all of those things start in the teenage years. The problem is that the damage done to the skelton becomes permanent and the older person never learns to correct the situation.
When I notice poor posture in an actor, I want to scream, “STRAIGHTEN UP, YOU FOOL! You are being judged on how you carry yourself and that looks awful!”

Learn what and where YOUR center of gravity is and if it’s been misplaced (!), fix it. If nothing else, you may avoid back problems as you get older.

Now, heads high! Shoulders back! You look better already…!

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