I honestly think I’ve been checked out/hit on more times in the last 5 years (ages 24-29) than the rest of my life combined. Why? I was pondering this yesterday after I was stopped twice by two different men while walking home from the post office (in sweats, Gortex, and a hat, mind you – it was raining). And I decided it’s because I finally learned to stand up straight (after a couple years of PT for back injuries) and embrace this long, lanky body. Standing tall and walking tall somehow exude this high level of confidence that people are attracted to. Why didn’t I figure this out in my single years? 🙂
So anyway, I had this flash of insight yesterday and today I’m reading The Wall Street Journal and find Vanessa O’Connell’s article "How to Walk Like a Model," which basically tells me this is how I’ve been walking for the last 5 years. And I have my PT to thank. Thank you, Lisa.
For those of you who haven’t had a PT coaching you on how to sit, stand, and walk like there is a string pulling up through your body and out the top of your head, O’Connell offers some great advice from her interview with Jessica Stam, a hugely popular 21-year-old runway model. Says Stam, "First impressions are a big deal, whether you’re walking up to the podium to give a presentation or into a restaurant for a blind date" (p. D8). When she’s on the runway, she focuses on pulling her shoulders down and keeping her head straight and high. Stam concentrates on a point in the distance to keep her balance while taking very large strides (to highlight the movement of the clothes she’s modeling), which she says give the impression of "a certain amount of confidence…When a woman walks more confidently, it can really affect the way other people see her – and the way she feels about herself" (p. D8).
Stam still gets nervous on the runway, and deals with it by imagining that people aren’t actually focused on her. Rather, they’re looking at her clothes or they are thinking about themselves or something else. So, whether you’re walking into a party or up to the podium for a big speech, take some advice from a top-notch model: believe that people aren’t focusing on you, pull your shoulders down, keep your head high and straight, and take large strides. You will exude confidence, whether it’s really there or not!