The labour of looking good – body language of the red carpet

It’s that time of year again – it’s awards season in Hollywood.  There’s a buzz around Argo, which looks set to sweep through the Oscars.  These ceremonies are global events with a lot of exposure so for the stars it is crucial to get things right.  So what matters at award ceremonies?

I think there are two main areas.  The Red carpet and the reaction shots in the auditorium.  For the big names, it would seem that appearing on the red carpets of the world – at the right place, at the right time, and wearing the right clothes, can be just as important as acting is.  Of course, it’s all for extending their spheres’ of influence and developing their personal brand.  This is even alluded to, to a degree.

What you have to remember is that when you see these celebrities on the red carpet, the images they project are generally unattainable.  The way they physically appear has been worked out and scrutinised and re-worked by at least one stylist, a hairdresser, a make-up artist, and who knows who else?  The dresses and suits are gifted by exclusive labels hungry to attach themselves to a celebrity, and even the way these stars move in front of the camera has often been pre-rehearsed and perfected.  Ever wondered why so many female actresses look over their shoulder at the camera?  Clue: it’s to do with accentuating certain parts of the body.  Ok, here are the benefits: This pose accentuates the face, breasts and bottom, can make you look coy, submissive and even vulnerable.  I would however suggest some sessions with a physiotherapist before doing it as it is difficult to pull off if you are not limber.

Re losing graciously and looking happy to be there it is important to understand that the camera will not be kind if you are bored or angry.  Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper could not have looked less interested to be at the BAFTA’s when they were presenting an early award.  They both changed their demeanour considerably when their films did well.

Let’s get some perspective.  Self aware film stars know how to give the camera an easy sultry look, or appear nonchalant and cool when really they’re the product of loads of preparation.  If you want to achieve a certain look, and a certain aura, for a date or a job interview or whatever, you need to be comfortable in your own skin because no dress or DJ will substitute for that.

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