Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blame It on the Dance

Okay, I know I'm getting older every day, which is not such a bad thing except when I am suddenly and forcefully slapped in the face with my older-ness. That happened to me (again) over the weekend, and I now believe I have irrevocably stepped over into the white-haired generation.

As a person of the public relations persuasion, one of my responsibilities at Small College is to oversee the taking of pictures. Not the actual taking of pictures; this job is delegated to the young and artistic student assistants. But I am a whiz (if I say so myself) at herding people into place for group photos so others can snap the shot. I am firm (bossy), and make sure the tall people are in the back and the short people in front,  and the photographer is right over here so if you can't see her the camera can't see you, and sir, would you like me to hold your nametag?

Not so long ago A few years back When I was in college, the girls in the photos would have posed something like the lovely maiden in the picture above. Staring straight at the camera, feet on the floor, arms just hanging off of shoulders. Now, though, something has happened to our beautiful young girls.

They have become posers.

Point a camera in the direction of any female between the ages of 5 and 25 and she instantly will throw her butt and bust in opposite directions, dip her chin toward a shoulder so that hair drips over her eyes, and prop one hand seductively onto a hip. She transforms from a sweet, nice-looking young lady into Jezebel the Seductress, and this happens every. single. time she's in a picture, whether the girl is Lolita or Velma Dinkley and whether the event is prom or induction into an honor society.

I do not make up the "or induction into an honor society" part of my claim. At last weekend's event I arranged the smart and talented young women and men who are the newest members of Small College's oldest honor society. The moment I said "Look this way, please," the smart and talented young men looked this way and the smart and talented young women turned into Rhianna at the Grammy awards.  (Oh, no, I'm not linking that. Google it yourself.)

"Oh, for heaven's sake," I muttered irritably. "Drop your hands to your sides, please." They looked at me in horror, but they dropped their hands and straightened into respectable posture.

I blame dance lessons. Back when I was wearing clothes awfully similar to today's illustration, no one took dance lessons. (Well, we did have two weeks of ballroom dancing at the start of seventh grade, but you can bet Mrs. Steiner would not have put up with any posing shenanigans while she taught us the foxtrot.) Now every little girl starts pinning her hair into a ballet bun at age three. At three, that sexpot pose that ends a dance is adorable but it gets slightly less adorable and slightly more squicky every time she does it until age 25 when she comes to her senses. When you've been doing this for 22 years, that has to affect your brainwaves.

Young ladies, please listen to this public service announcement: This S-shaped pose is not a good look for you. Feel free to continue to do it, as I continued to wear the wildly flowered 70s garb until I came to my own senses. But believe me, you will regret these dozens of pictures later because frankly, you don't look sexy, you look like a dork.

You're welcome.


  1. I love the "Oh, for heaven's sake"! I also love that it WORKED!

  2. Swistle, old and bossy. Works like a charm.