The Elegant Slouch

8th May

All our lives we are taught to sit up straight, stand tall, tuck in our tummies, and throw back our shoulders. Some of us have even tried balancing a book on our heads as a test of posture and grace. We are told that if we carry ourselves correctly, we will look taller and thinner and be blessed with more energy and verve throughout the day. I am sure this is all true.

Who can argue with common-sense recommendations, like that of eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies every day? Or drinking masses of water? But then, what makes life worth living – a slight exaggeration – if we can’t have a little chocolate? In the same vein, I think: what a dreary world this would be without the elegant slouch.

Just this week as I lunched at Madison Kitchen in Seattle, I noticed in The Seattle Times, a model pictured backstage in a wedding gown in the loveliest, most elegant slouch. The article by Moira MacDonald shared an astute observation that the splendor of the model’s gown is unaffected by her pose. Yet for some reason, that pose (or non-pose) continues to linger on in my mind.

Elegant slouch

During my last visit to New York City, a similar vision halted me in my tracks. I spotted a woman standing on the other side of the intersection, demonstrating the coolest elegant slouch. Aside from the fact that she closely resembled the leading actress (Sally Hawkins) of a favorite movie of mine (“Happy-Go-Lucky“), her stance was just so lovely, so self-possessed and poised. She stood in attention to no-thing and no-body.

And the curvature of her figure was was not that all-too-familiar, tawdry buxom-bombshell look but something much finer, much more interesting. Here a month after the sighting, it continues to haunt me: that lovely sight, the visual poetry of the elegant slouch

I guess it is one of those paradoxes in life, like the super fit model prancing around in sky high heels. Obviously, she would never be able to maintain her figure while wearing such prohibitive footwear day in, day out. Or it’s like the plant whose flower is only a fleeting but glorious moment of its existence.

Elegant slouch

No, I cannot say that I believe the elegant slouch is the posture-equivalent to dark chocolate packed with antioxidants. Not at all. I am sure that there is nothing about it which benefits a person’s health, be it physical or mental. But, I do love it so.



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