Thursday, January 12, 2012

Posture And Attractiveness

Components of Feminine Beauty by Attention Deserved
I've estimated previously that a woman's posture accounts for 3% of a woman's external attractiveness. And because posture is 100 % controllable, I concluded in the same analysis that it was worthy of 5 % of the time that a woman spends on her appearance. This might not sound like much, but that 5 % was second only to fitness, hair and makeup. In other words, once you take care of those three (obvious) things, you should be shifting your attention - not to your nails, breasts or even the color of your clothes, but to your posture.

Posture is important because it is a direct projection of your sense of self-worth. Looks are critical, even for long term relationships, but without personality and confidence you will not get past a first date or a purely sexual relationship. I plan to write a lot more soon about the importance of personality, and when I do I will make the point that a woman's sense of her own value is vital to her internal attractiveness. Posture is the subtle but primary mode by which that sense of value is conveyed, and men definitely notice - whether consciously or subconsciously. A woman with good posture exudes confidence, and confidence demands attention. Attention, in turn (the good kind at least) breeds attraction. In addition, being the external expression of an internal state of mind, posture is also a large contributor to external attractiveness.

I went to a bar last night, as I am apt to do on Wednesdays, and ran into a girl that I know and occasionally flirt with. She varies between a 7 and a 10 (depending on how she presents herself) - a very good looking girl, and in great shape too. She was sitting on a stool, hunched over - clearly tired and ready to head home. After chatting with her for a little while, her posture started to bother me, so I told her "you should sit up straight, you look a lot better that way," as I placed my hand on her back and shoulder to straighten her out. She laughed, agreed and sat up straight.

I had always known that a woman's posture makes a difference, but this was one of the clearest examples I have ever seen - suddenly she seemed alive. As she lifted her upper body, her back straightened and her chest pushed out, accenting her breasts and diminishing her previously scrunched-up waist; her neck straightened and appeared more slender; her hair fell more naturally over her shoulders and neck: her physical beauty radiated.

But these were merely the physical changes. In addition, her head was lifted - probably by about six inches - so that she became more present in the group, and her beauty was magnified by its sheer prominence (this is an argument in favor of female height that I have perhaps overlooked until now). She also seemed more confident, as if she could accept or reject any guy that approached her - and looking the way she did sitting up straight, she probably could have. Finally, she smiled. The effect of holding herself up triggered the emotions that normally cause her to hold herself that way, and she was visibly happier. A new energy seemed to come over her. While she was slouching she had seemed tired, maybe even ill; but now she appeared healthy, youthful, alert, engaged, exuberant.

But here is perhaps the most interesting and telling part: when this girl corrected her posture, I felt a distinct pang of intimidation. It surprised and dismayed me, because I was sure until that moment that I had this girl wrapped around my finger. Suddenly the roles were decidedly reversed. The impression only lasted a moment, because her mood and attitude were not organic and ingrained; but it still concerned me afterwards - what if she had appeared that way when I first met her? And if she had maintained it, would I have ever been able to gain the upper hand? This is the power of posture.


Related Posts
1. How to Improve Your Posture
2. How to Improve Your Posture - Part 2
3. The Importance of Heels

36 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, you're such a bright person.
    Good luck, I hope you'll have a very happy family.

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  2. Andrew,

    I love reading your posts. I have learned a lot from them. (The last one was a bit risqué, but helpful nonetheless!)

    I wsa intrigued by your comment in bold, but I think I get it. Even more fascinating is this:

    "She also seemed more confident, as if she could accept or reject any guy that approached her - and looking the way she did sitting up straight, she probably could have."

    I can't tell you how many times I have been shot down for suggesting that a woman chooses (or at least should) one or more of the many men who approach her during the course of her lifetime.

    Thanks for making me realise I am not completely mad.

    JT/Spacetraveller
    (PS: Can I add you to my blogroll? My female readers would benefit!)

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    1. It is ture, a female chooses rom amongs her suitors. You should check out the book "The Femle Brain." Great book, sometimes a difficult read for those without an anatomy/physiology back ground.

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  3. Completely true. I've noticed, since Ive gone Paleo and bagged most of the cardio in favor of mostly weight- related workouts, I stand up much straighter, and by extension, all the things you mention in the post happen to my body naturally!

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    1. Doing weights is key. I'm male and always had bad posture even though I constantly rode bikes, ran, swam and every other aerobic activity. The last 3 months I've been hitting the gym and with massive improvements. no amount of pulling your shoulders back will correct structural/muscular imbalances. When I was younger I tried chiropractor but all that destroyed my back. I also don't sit at a desk all day, my housemates are both deskbound students and they're both hunched like crazy.

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  4. It's funny you post this. I have terrible posture. My boyfriend is ALWAYS pulling my shoulders back and telling me to quit slouching. And before he was on my case about it, my mother was. Everything you said in this post is what they are always telling me...I thought it was just them being weird about it, but I guess it's pretty universal.

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  5. You are bang on as usual. I got complimented the other night on this, as well as on many other points you mention about female attractiveness being highly controllable (and noticed) - "the way you carry yourself, to the way you do your makeup, and your dress which is so flattering, and you have a great figure, and your decolletage is... wow". He gets points for busting out a word like decolletage in conversation....

    "Posture is important because it is a direct projection of your sense of self-worth."

    I totally agree. I think focus and visualization is key on achieving and maintaining this internal state/sense/confidence. I feel different than I did a couple of months ago. You've said, and I've read many places elsewhere, that you don't have to believe it at first, just keep saying it to yourself and (like you say about how her physical change in posture then created the emotional response) after repetition and persistence, you'll find it's true. I am really liking this. Andrew you are so invited to my wedding.

    C.

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    1. Most guys I know who use the word "decolletage" are fashion designers, make up artists or gay men. Or someone who just insists on using the French words for everything.
      If a guy said that to me, as in "I'll try to mention her boobs, but use a sophisticated word", it would not be a turn on for me. I suppose women are different here. I speak French and I hate when people do that, unless they are French themselves (in which case you can pull of a lot). I suppose if he went "your cheveux smells like roses, ton lèvres are erotic", things would be even better? Sure decolletage has been adopted to English, but he uses it for a reason.

      Andrew, this is unrelated, would you pleeaase do a post about men's age and dating? I know it's been a hot subject on HUS and I recently read an article in a magazine on which factors determines that a guy is ready for a relationship (such as his buddies are settling, he feels to old for the nightclub scene..), and what makes a man settle rather than play the field (other than meeting the right girl)? And if you are familiar with the 'taxi theory', do you support it?

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    2. I just finished writing two, the first of which will go up later this week.

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    3. Anonymous Jan. 17 reply - I had earlier in the conversation mentioned how a man's being articulate is very important and a turn on for me, and so I saw him using "decolletage" as a play to impress me further. Some guys will just say "your cleavage - wow". He got points for being a little more creative and subtle. :)

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  6. Ha! I had to look up the word decolletage, but glad you like what you've read. Looking forward to the wedding ;)

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  7. In this case, you should up the score for "heels" in terms of how much they play in female attractiveness. They basically force good posture. One cannot slouch in heels.

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  8. Well done, as per usual :)

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  9. Great post! Thanks for sharing (Glad I found your blog).

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  10. Cool.You have a knack of explaining these things.
    Nice blogs

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  11. I really got to experience the changes in attitude in the people around me when it comes to posture. I never paid too much attention to this before until lately after looking in the mirror so, one day, I decided to make sure I keep my back straight. I went out with my friends and sitting around the table I noticed how their backs were hunched over. After talking and laughing a boy noticed and asked me amazed "is there something different about you?"

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  12. Just so you know, if a man ever told me to sit up straight and then touched me like that to "improve my appearance," he is getting a knee right to the balls. You are disgusting.

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    1. For me it would depend on how well we knew each other. Some random stranger in the bar? Yes, I would have your reaction. A guy I see every week and we hang out, friendly chatter, a bit of flirt? I'd probably have the reaction of the girl in Andrew's story.

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  13. I wish i'd found your blog long ago, much much long... anyway by experience I believe in everything you write and have learnt it the hard way but still I think by reading you i am going to make a very positive change in my approach to men and even my personality in general.
    Thank you.

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  14. well, i would like to say that i very much like this blog and the things you have to say and primarily the way you say them, but (we were all expecting that one), i tend to disagree on many of them. Mainly what really bothers me about this post and any with the same intent as this one, is the implicated assumption that every woman's goal is to attract a man and not only that but also to modify herself however slightly to please one. I find that outrageously grating that you think that every woman or even person for that matter, gives a flying fuck about what other people think about them? I mean, if i were in the place of that bar flirt of yours, if you'd told me to straighten my back because it "made me look better", i would punch you in the face or verbally bite your head off for thinking that the only thing i had in mind was my appearance, especially when i was tired (as you stated above) and what's more that your opinion meat so much to me that it even overcame my fatigue. I mean come on, maybe i want to slouch, regardless of what it makes me look like or how i'm perceived. i mean, do you think it's impossible for a person to attract someone without all these gambits? These are exactly the kind of things that bum me out, if you get me. It seems to me as though you constantly portray the kind of woman that says "how high?" when the dude says "jump", you know.
    Now, i hope you somewhat understood what i meant to say here. I'm not attacking you or anything, it's just i wanted to kind of explain what your views on things did to me and i used this post as a ploy.

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    1. Today is my birthday!

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    2. No that day July 11th was my birthday I meant.

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  15. I'm a single woman in my thirties and found your blog by happenstance. Thank you for taking time to provide a male point of view to women. I have wasted too many years listening to the awful advice of women about men and realize men think and are motivated differently then women. The worst I have to say are the women's glossy magazine's at the supermarket. They are great for style and fashion tips, horrible for relationship advice. Thanks again for providing your opinion and I'll keep reading :)

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  16. omg STOP with the nonsense percentages and graphs! "I've estimated previously that a woman's posture accounts for 3% of a woman's external attractiveness" ... it's really annoying how you keep trying to rationalize something so unique and subjectively variable as attractiveness. and if you think working with numbers gives your statements a tone of credibility and seriousness- it doesn't. and that ridiculous as fuck pie chart ... OH MY GOD. Have you maybe once considered that perhaps you don't know everything there is to know about females???

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    1. I loved this reply.

      I read recently that men have only 15% of the connections in the corpus callosum (where the two halves of the brain talk to each other), the researchers concluded this is why women can think and feel at the same time (and talk about their emotions), but men can only think.... then when they feel emotions they need to process ... process .... process .... process ... until they are able to think about what they felt. So in other words men are much slower at processing emotions that we women. Which maybe explains why they are over rationalizing things like posture on this site, because that's the only way they know how to process.

      Meanwhile most women have super-sensitive radar, at least I know I do, and can size up a man and reject him in moments based on their ability to simultaneously process a thousand different emotional factors.

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    2. Telling me to stop rationalizing and analyzing and picking apart the male mind on this blog is essentially telling me to stop writing it altogether, because that is the sole purpose of this blog. You might as well tell the pope to "stop going on about religion all the time."

      And anyway, if it annoys you, there is a far more efficient way for you to avoid it: stop reading.

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    3. Andrew has balls :) I like it! You seem like a good guy at heart Andrew. I hope all of this pays off and your life is always filled with happiness and love.

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    4. I completely agree about the figures and graphs. Very misleading to try to apply generalized numbers to his subjective assessments. For instance, I personally find waist to hip ratio to be a major influence in my instinctual attraction to women. Science points to this being a strong indicator of attractiveness.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1306012/Beauty-summed-To-tell-womans-really-attractive-figures.html
      It hardly deserves a 3% in my book. Other examples: I don't like heels in general, I am more attracted to butts than boobs, and I like smaller boobs than larger(while a good friend loves large breasts).

      Still, his heart is in the right place and his basic premise is sound. Control what you can and focus on feeling good about and confident in yourself for YOU not to get men. You will attract men in the process.

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  17. Andrew,
    I'm the anonymous just above you. Not saying you should stop analyzing. But analysis can only take you so far, especially if half the species is very adept at emotion and is deft in using emotional guidance.
    Bear in mind that just because you don't use this aspect (as much? at all?) doesn't mean it isn't valuable. Just as you might argue to a woman that you don't think does analysis, she shouldn't dismiss analysis.

    Male emotions are almost a complete mystery to women. Most of the time it seems to us women that men do not have emotions, or the only emotion they have is anger.

    Could you write a piece demystifying male emotions in relationships, male emotional reactions to a new woman etc? Love, hurt, pain, happiness, etc. as men feel them in dating & relationships. Throw us a bone.

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    1. Anon @ 3:17pm, 7/25 - I think his entire blog addresses your question.

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    2. No it doesn't. His perspective is largely about securing sex. There's not much about male emotions towards women outside of the sex issue. If you mean therefore that men have no emotions for women, then that explains a lot of why most men treat women poorly.

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    3. men do feel emotions. although in most cases we aren't as well equipped to deal with them as women are.

      best way to identify emotions in a man, is through its effects on his actions/behaviour.

      i would go as far as to say, men would rather deal with raw emotions on an instinctive level (as per the fight or flight response) than to waste time and mental energy to process it.

      it is often just a case of finding an appropriate channel as an outlet, like a boxer who puts his emotions of fear and pain to good use in the ring.

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  18. Andrew,

    Posture does have a crucial effect. Interesting also as it may operate as a function to bring out your belief in yourself: http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

    ps. Your writing conveys a grounded sense of kind honesty and insightfully straightforward observations. After hooked into reading most of this blog I almost just started this comment with a familiar "Hey Andrew" exclamation. Your perceptive side has its effect :P

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  19. Hi all,
    I used to have a bad posture, but one day I started to go to a swimming pool 1-2 times a week. I could not believe how my posture improved! Now, when I walk, I look straight ahead of me as if someone pulled my shoulders back and fixed them in this position. My new 'body language' affected the way I feel. I look more confident than before and I feel more confident about myself.
    I am not a professional swimmer, I swim slowly for 20 minutes, then I am sitting in the sauna and then swim again...Sometimes it does feel like a chore to go to the swimming pool, but I remind myself that good posture is worth it. I know that if I stop swimming, my posture will become terrible again. By the way, having a good posture is equally important for men. Men who have a good posture are always stand out from the crowd because most people have a bad posture.

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  20. Am I the only guy that thinks that women looks sexy when they have slouching posture?

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