Belfast Telegraph

Why I'd never shell out for a course on striking perfect celebrity pose

By Claire Harrison

The world of celebrity is a strange old planet, completely alien to those of us who've never lived there. When looking for evidence of the otherworldly practices of the famous, look no further than the posing required by inhabitants when either on the red carpet or flogging some posh frocks.

As someone who's never had to grace a red carpet or the pages of a magazine to make someone else's clothes look fantabulous for millions of people to pore over, I genuinely concede it must be a very stressful experience. And the said celebs must be under immense pressure to make sure they look as good as possible and therefore feel obliged to push the boundaries of posing techniques.

For those of us not on Planet Celeb, the rules of being photographed are simple enough. Look at the camera and smile. Or if you want to put in a bit of extra effort, make sure you're standing up straight, square your shoulders and suck in your tummy.

If you want to take it a little bit further, never allow yourself to be photographed from below (mind those chins!) and, if you really must, pout like a teenage girl obsessed with selfies.

On Planet Celeb, they scoff at such simple measures as the competition to throw the weirdest and most contorted, eye-catching shape appears to be intensifying. Firstly, and most bizarrely, the smiling rule is completely out the window. You'll never see Victoria Beckham or Kim Kardashian crack a grin. It would appear misery is far more attractive than self-inflicted lines on your face.

And secondly - practice, practice, practice. When Angelina Jolie turned up at the Oscars with a dress slit up to her thigh, throwing her leg out wasn't a spontaneous move. She was well rehearsed in how to make that Atelier Versace black gown stand out with an exact stance to expose just one limb. (Yet she clearly wasn't prepared for the inevitable internet spoofs.)

The undisputed queen of the practiced pose is, however, Victoria Beckham, yet again. She even has what's known in the business as a 'signature pose'. (I thought Zoolander had trademarked that, but apparently not). The VB stance generally consists of a slight arch and dip of the back, usually to her left, with her left foot elegantly placed out in front. Her right hand is always on her hip while the left gets to mix it up with three options - on the hip, straight down, or playing with her left earlobe (should her rings require extra exposure). It's only when you watch footage of the effort she makes getting into this unnatural position for photographers and holding it long enough while trying to do human things like breathe, that you realise how completely barmy it is.

Speaking of barmy, I only thought Kim, Vic et al were a bit odd until the actress Chloe Sevigny came along and showed them all what mad posing really is. In what was described as a 'daring shoot' for a magazine called Marfa Journal, Sevigny decided to eschew normal clothes and dress with the aid of crustaceans instead. So instead of underwear, she wore a lobster wrapped around her nether regions, as you do. In order to show the lobster off to full effect, the quirky Swede teamed it with a black dinner jacket and struck a pose which involved a back-bending lean across a piece of furniture that would make a contortionist wince.

Back on Planet Earth, I still believe in the simple rules when trying to look your best in photos. Don't put a lobster in between your legs. It might hurt. And smile.

We let ourselves go at the Frozen show

What do hundreds of children sound like singing Let It Go in unison? Very loud, is the answer. Belfast's Grand Opera House was transformed into the Kingdom of Arendelle this week as Sing-a-long-a Frozen came to town.

That's singing along to the Disney smash hit movie Frozen, in case you're wondering, with a few live action extras thrown in.

Its tiny fans did it proud as they all came dressed for the occasion as various characters. As well as my own little Queen Elsa, there were Annas, Olafs and even a few Svens. Top marks to the entire family - daughter, son, mum and a completely unembarrassed dad - who came dressed as trolls. Grand Pabbie would have been impressed.

It's Cinders' dress that's the real star

And speaking of Disney, our own Kenneth Branagh has done a fabulous job on Cinderella.

I'm not surprised his adaptation of the classic fairytale is topping the box office on both sides of the Atlantic - and proving as popular as Frozen did on the big screen.

Branagh has wisely stuck faithfully to the story of poor old Cinders, but trumps previous efforts with a stellar cast hamming it up against a rich background of talking animals and frilly frocks.

Lily James is slightly annoying in the lead, but who cares because the real star of the show is the sumptuous blue gown she gets to wear to the ball - which every little girl will now be dreaming of instead of Queen Elsa's ice gown.

Belfast Telegraph


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