Tuesday, 4 November 2008

How to Carry Yourself

Tonight I attended our ward's Young Women in Excellence. As always it was entertaining and the young women in our ward amaze me with the scope of their talents. Each of the girls got to walk out on stage while we were told a little about them.

One thing I really noticed is how awkward most of the girls were walking in high heels. The same thing came to my attention last year at the school's graduation ceremonies. So many of the girls walked the processional holding their long skirts quite high off the ground and clumsily walking in their beautiful dresses. This is a pet peeve of mine partly because I have made so many beautiful gowns that somehow don't look quite as nice when the girl is slouching or stomping down the aisle.

I remember as a girl being taught how to act like a lady and how to carry myself. Remember the walking with books on the head trick? My great-grandmother always told me to stand up straight, walk gracefully and dress appropriately for the occasion. I've already promised my daughters that they will get to learn how to carry themselves before I ever let them wear a formal gown. My oldest daughter has it down and the youngest is learning.

I've suggested to the Young Women leaders in our ward to have an evening teaching the girls how to walk and stand so they look the best they can. They are excited by the idea, and the girls could all use the practice. A little refinement will be good for them.

A little refinement would also help my current manuscript. Still working on that, but like trying to teach a bunch of slouchy teenagers to walk like ladies, it is a long road. Certainly worth the effort thought. Someday we'll all be polished and ready to present to the world.


Kimberly said...

We had a series of lessons like that when I was in Young Women's.

Naturally, my family was out of town during that time period.

It explains so, so much.

Tristi Pinkston said...

That is such an awesome idea -- and it would help in so many other areas, too. Teaching a young lady how to carry herself also teaches her confidence and how to expect to be treated with respect.

ali said...

I learned a lot as an opera singer because presentation was always the key. I couldn't go into an audition dressed like regular ol' Ali, I had to go in dressed and acting like Alexandra, coluratora extroidinaire. That was new for me, like playing the part I expect to be given before I even ever open my mouth.

I never learned it as a girl, I had to learn it as a grown up when I was living in elaborate gowns and often had to be seen walking across a stage in high heels, trying to look glamorous and lovely. Talk about baptism by fire!

I think it's an awesome idea to teach the young ladies while they are, well, young, so it can be a part of them, like breathing, should the occasion call for it. Heck, even church calls for it, or going out on a date ... we all look better when we hold ourselves tall and with confidence. We are truly beautiful then!

Noble M Standing said...

What a great analogy.

When I was a teen I actually took a modeling class and learned to walk stand remove a coat and all sorts of other things.

I agree with you, I watched a poor girl wobble across the parking lot after stake conference on too high heels in a too short dress. What a sad sight. :(


Josi said...

That's such a great idea. I never learned those things but I was very aware of it, which made me even more awkward. I'm going to suggest that to my YW here as well. Maybe the girls will stop wearing flip flops if they learned to wear heels :-)

And BIG HUG THANKS for the Whitney Benefit Auction blog and link. We so so so so appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

You just described the best memories I have of Young Womens, but of course in my day it was mutual. We had classes to teach us how to act and then the test was the etiquette dinner with a date no less. All dressed up and etc. I still think back some times when I don't remember. Thanks for bring a positive memory to the front of the line.

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

I like this idea, too. Now, where can I get the info to teach it?

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Kimberly, I'm sure you do better than you give yourself credit for and it's never too late to learn.

Tristi, Thanks for the comment about respect. I hadn't thought about the way a girl carries herself as a way to encourage the guys to show respect.

Ali, You were probably amazing on stage. I'd love an opportunity to wear beautiful dresses. We only had one formal dance per year at our school and I only attended the one the year I graduated. Not nearly enough chances to dress up. You're right we do look better when we stand tall. It even makes me feel skinnier :)

Noble, There are so many times just want to cry when I see these beautiful young ladies slouching across the room.

Josi, Glad to link to the auction. I think the Whitney awards are a fabulous thing and I can't wait to see who the finalists are for 2008.

Queen, Sounds like you could give some young ladies a few pointers.

Ronda, There are probably resources on the internet. I know in my little town there are several people who modeled as teenagers who could help the girls. Maybe Ali or Queen or Noble could help...

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