When we think of women who stand and walk and sit with distinction, our minds visualize the late eighteen-nineties and early nineteen hundreds. They certainly stood up and sat straight, those ironclad, corseted-to-the-chin mothers and grandmothers of ours.
But rigid ramrods are out of date. None of us is going back to that painfully restricted era. Neither have we hours to spend walking with books on our heads, nor the leisure to practice how to sit down gracefully.
Rigidity is not necessary when you are aiming at good posture. It isn’t even a good goal. But most of us have at least one ugly and easily changed the fault of carriage.
Are you the toilworn type, the woman who walks with bent shoulders and drooped middle? Get rid of the mental attitude, tuck in your stomach, and watch your body straighten! Are you the inquiring duck-neck, carrying your head about three inches ahead of your body? Back up against a wall and make your head touch the wall, too. Get the feel of this proper position, and check yourself as you pass reflecting windows and mirrors.
Do you toe out in the genteel, outmoded fashion of 1912? Make a conscious effort to get those toes straight ahead. Have you the arrogant bustle walk, your hips threw out behind? Start today, learning to walk as though someone were about to spank you—and watch those hips go back where they came from.
Your walk should be distinguished by its lack of outstanding qualities.
You don’t want people to notice your posture, good or bad. You want them to see you. To correct the faults that attract attention and forget the rest.
1500 calories a day
Much the same rule applies to sit. No one will wait to watch how gracefully you lower yourself into a chair. No one cares. But if you drop in a manner to frighten the owner of the chair, you will get plenty of attention. And if you insist on sitting either like a disapproving maiden aunt or a licentious Roman dinner, people will notice you, too. But it won’t be your charm they notice. The most prevalent and the ugliest of all sitting-faults is the frog-leg squat—and squat is the only word.
You know it. The feet are either together or apart, but the legs are widespread at the knees.
Learn to walk and sit in an apparently effortless, graceful manner. Then you can be sure you will have learned to carry yourself well.