Posing for Photos

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posed.jpg

I don't know for sure, but I suspect that Japanese women have some sort of special training in "posing for cameras."

We all know about the V sign that everyone, young and old, makes for the camera, but there's another common pose struck only by fashionable women. It's a modelesque chin-down-pouty-smile-eyes-focussed-on-lens-legs-poised pose that I can't believe is entirely unlearned.

Yet they do it gracefully and without consideration for the surroundings. I've seen women arranging themselves this way in front of landmarks, in clubs, in purikura photo booths, on the street with friends. It doesn't seem to matter what they are wearing or who is holding the camera. The ones who are best at it go on to become event models at technology and automobile conventions.

Perhaps there is a special schoolday in the 6th grade or so, when boys and girls are taken into separate rooms and the "facts of life" are explained. Same as when I was a schoolgirl, but in Japan the girls get an extra lesson in modelling. We missed out on that in my elementary school, so all I can do is look slightly goofy in photos.

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Can I just say that the posing gives me the heebie-jeebies? It does. And for the life of me, I can't figure out why. Maybe it's because it seems like blatant vanity rather than, you know, false modesty. Heh.

Anyway is really funny the first time you use a camera in Japan... ;-)

I was reminded of this post just now when a translation assignment came to my desk. The assignment is a PowerPoint presentation aimed at would-be digital photographers. It includes precisely the kind of advice you mentioned above: Head tilted slightly, chin down, legs crossed, etc.

So you were right, they are coached.

(Aside: Am I alone in thinking that there should be a law against Japanese people using PowerPoint without a computer-literacy credential of some sort?)

I have visited an Amerian National park this summer, and I saw many young girls making "fancy smiles" in front of cameras. They were dramatically identical. Are they coached, too?

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