Are you showing off your confident ‘Power Pose?’
Runway models, celebrities, and plastic mannequins all have image consultants to teach them how to strut their Power Pose!
Notice the black sections of the patterned dress give the optical illusion of a minimized waist and a feminine hour-glass shape. Short dresses lengthen leg appeal.
Both mannequins have legs planted wide-apart and balanced for greater stability and presence.
Animals in the wild, as well as mannequins in the store, expand to become bigger, stronger, and more powerful. Here, the mannequins have arms wide and spread out with hands near hips to exude sexy “I’m in control” confidence.
P R E S I D E N T I A L – P O W E R
All the Presidents Men Know the Secret:
‘Show Alpha-Male Power with Feet on Desk!’
In the next 4 photos below, US Presidents convey overt messages of primal power, personal dominance, and Alpha-Male-Leader-of-the-Pack-Status by claiming and maximizing proxemic space with raised legs, feet, and work related items spread out on their Presidential desk in the Oval Office.
Americans understand that gravity-defying feet placed on the desk is a clear non-verbal gesture of “I’m the BOSS!”
So, even though Obama is sitting down with his long legs outstretched and elevated, he maximizes his Presidential and authoritative power by keeping all others distant beyond legs’ reach.
Also, the masculine desk in the middle represents another physical barrier separating the Commander-in-Chief from all others of lower status.
In the Obama photo above, the other men are focused on the President:
- First man at the far left does not show confidence and personal power because:
- he is holding the back of the available chair while standing with feet crossed and close together. If he weren’t holding the chair, he may easily tip over in this unstable position.
- his shoulders appear hunched upwards toward his ears
- chin is tucked slightly down covering the neck
- Senior Advisor David Axelrod stands in the middle of the lineup with right hands in pockets. This may be his normal baseline behavior. His hands are hidden, out of view, and in his pockets.
- Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel shows his second rank status with spread out arms-akimbo (possibly in a challenging position), navel is not directly facing the Obama, chin downward, and head angled and tilted toward the President.
In a similar photo with President Bush, each of the following individuals demonstrates lower-status and more submission in non-verbal body language:
- Bush is not commanding sharp attention because each set of eyes is looking in different directions, not connected to the President or to one another.
- White House chief of staff Andrew Card’s right hand is resting on back of a chair. Arms are close to the body.
- The woman may be Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christine Todd Whitman; both of her hands are open with palms up.
- Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff Carl Rove’s is the least engaged in the conversation. Notice Rove distanced himself the farthest away from President Bush with eyes looking and torso facing away and to the left in the photo, and hands hiding either behind Rove’s back or in pants’ pockets.
President Ford appears to only have his right leg and foot raised on desk top.
It is unclear whether his left leg, foot, and shoe are on the floor, in the shadows, or hidden underneath the desk.
Both legs on the desk is a more obvious sign of gravity defying behavior; when only one leg is up then less personal power and confidence is conveyed.
President Ford is talking on the phone alone; therefore, his Presidential Leadership is not physically conveyed to others in this photograph.
President Carter lessens his Presidential Power Pose with his cordial smile, right hand close to or touching his face, and left hand limp with downward fingers.
Although crossed legs and feet are resting in a Power Pose on the desk, his other body gestures are weaker and less forceful.
President Carter does not display his full Presidential authority because it is uncertain whether any other people are present in the Oval Office in this photograph.
C U L T U R A L D I F F E R A N C E S
In some other cultures (e.g., Arab) exposing the soles of the shoes towards others is considered extremely disrespectful and insulting. Feet and the soles of the shoes are dirty because they walk on the filth of the ground.
Therefore, displaying the bottom soles of the shoes is offensive and indicates contempt towards others. In the Muslim faith, worshipers must remove shoes before entering Mosques and before prayers.
It is important to consider contextual and cultural meanings in the communication and the interpretation of body language.
T H E I N F A M O U S
Impress the Single Gals with ‘Stud-Muffin’ Urinal Selfie of Your Married, Cheating Self:
Prior to ‘accidentally’ causing the death of his toddler son Cooper by leaving him alone in the family vehicle for over 7 hours during a hot Georgia summer day, felony murder defendant and married dad Justin Ross Harris solicited himself to single (some allegedly under-age) females via selfies, sexting, and internet sites. Here, Harris tries to sexually seduce with:
- spread-out legs
- right arm in a slight arms-akimbo pose
- exposed right thumb pointing to and hidden, tucked-in-the-pocket fingers framing his genital area
- male urinal in the photo also symbolically indicates male dominance
(i.e., males ‘mark’ their territory with urine)
Even while Handcuffed, ‘Keep Chin-Up’ and shoulders / chest Up and Out to Show Power, Arrogance, and Defiance!
Despite being handcuffed and charged with three or more murders, former New England Patriots tight-end Football star Aaron Hernandez continued to show his personal power and dominance with:
- raised nose in the air
- lifted chin
- shoulders straight back, not hunched or slouched, and
- in photo with no arms exposed, solid broad chest with well defined muscles
Throughout the day, and even during sleep, the spoken words, along with non-spoken body language tell the world both your conscious and subconscious messages!
“From Head-to-Toes, the BODY Always Shows…the TRUTH!!”
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