I'm not sure where, why, or how it started, but there's an epidemic among many of our girls today. It's easy to spot, but somehow it seems so unnatural. I'm sure somewhere down the line the modeling industry or high profile magazines' advertisements with "perfect"-looking people have caused a stir in the heart of many girls to look a certain way. Maybe someone has teased them along the way. It aches my heart to think that every time a camera is around, this is the chosen pose because, in their minds, any other pose might not be pretty or flattering.
It's the pose I cringe at: the hand on the hip pose.
We've all seen it...I'm sure I've done it a time or two. But honestly, sometimes I just want to lovingly say, "you're beautiful the way you are--why pose in a way that looks, well... unnatural?" I want to tell these girls to not be so focused on how skinny their arms look, because honestly, who do you need to impress?" Unless they're in a cheerleader uniform during a Friday night high school football game, I will NEVER ask my seniors to pose in that position. Maybe I'll have them put their hand in a back pocket on a rare occasion, but not on the hip.
Why? First of all, I want my girls to be so comfortable and I want to instill confidence and trust that I will do my best to make them look natural and beautiful without ANY effort on their own. Have you ever been so at ease and possibly even laughing so hard you can't catch your breath and were able to maintain a hip pose? I doubt it. Secondly, I want these pictures to be unlike all the other hip pose photos they've posted on social media. Thirdly, those who cherish these photos most want to see them in their natural state, because they think they're beautiful as they are, no matter where their hands are placed. In fact, they'd probably prefer a natural laugh, a natural expression captured way more than an unnatural position. It's only through experience and the lens I view beauty that I'm able to say all this.
Life happens. Arm flab happens. Those we're concerned about impressing aren't the ones we need to focus on. So, please, parents of girls, understand their insecurities at that age, but also encourage them to embrace their natural expressions and poses. Because honestly, those are the ones you really keep in your mind and heart forever.