Thursday, December 11, 2014

Postures of the Rich and Famous

Do you know what everyone says to a chiropractor? "I have horrible posture".  People confess this to me like I'm some sort of spinal priestess who will absolve them of their slouchy sins.  Most of the time I correct them in thought rather than stance - their posture really isn't as poor as they think! Sure, who among us can't use a little tweaking, a little retraining, a little toning? But most non-chiropractors don't really understand what proper posture is all about.  And how can you be expected to master something you don't understand? 

We tend to equate the position of the head and shoulders with posture, but posture really begins at your feet.  It is an assessment of the lateral distribution of your mass, and how much you deviate from your center of gravity.  Not just how far you can thrust your shoulders back.  And truthfully, while most of us could improve, few of us are actually horrible. 

Celebrities, on the other hand, are often photographed having horrible posture.  And since photographs and the internet don't lie, allow me to analyze the worst of the worst celebrity postures. Celebrities - they are just like us!  - The poor posture edition. 

To wit.  I began this post many Oscars ago, and watched as Gwyneth Paltrow took the stage.  And despite wearing a pretty sparkly dress, all I can see is the way her lovely head sticks way out from her lovely body. I'm sure she's a lovely lady, but her posture makes my neck hurt, and makes me cringe.  
Also, put on some pants.

I feel a bit bad for calling out Avril Lavigne.  After all, she's Canadian and seems so sweet, though I sort of want to be her big sister for an afternoon so I could take the green out of her hair and scrub her eyeliner off. And then I want to be her chiropractor for an afternoon, so I can tell her to uncross her legs (look how unlevel her pelvis is!), drop her shoulders (so much tension!) and relax her neck (take some pressure off the cervical facet joints!).  Then I want to tell her to smile!

Oy vey.  
This person actually has nice posture! Her shoulders are remarkably level, her head is centered, her shoulders are back, her navel is midline... WHY CAN I SEE HER BELLYBUTTON?
This "dress" is perfectly suited for a thorough partial postural assessment.  It also makes her appear to have one leg and that is throwing me off.  Also throwing me off is the thought that I hope her gait patterns are even, because one wrong step and things go from postural assessment to gynecological assessment.  This dress is beyond my scope of practice.  

Miley is the WORST postural role model for young women today. Notice the uneven shoulders?  The protruding collarbones? Standing on one leg, causing the pelvis to jut out to one side? The forward head position? Miley - have your people call my people... person... Miley - call Louise.  She'll book you in for a proper assessment so we can get to work straightening you out.  Wear something more comfortable so we can properly see your spine and do some muscle testing.  

Oh. Er, sure. That's fine.  
Stop hiking your right shoulder. 

Oh sweetie.  MarykateAshleyIdon'tknow... your posture is horrible.  At least it looks that way in this and many other pictures that catch my chiropractic eye.  Your posture makes my neck and my heart hurt. So rounded in the upper back! I wonder if you have pronated feet that contribute to this? Though it is unlikely that orthotics would fit into your Louboutins, so I suppose it doesn't matter. Your posture problems don't appear to be genetic - maybe take some pointers from your more posturally blessed twin sister?

And it is not just the ladies who commit posture crimes - though even the most tailored suit forgives many postural deviations.  This is a societal problem far beyond chiroscope's jurisdiction - why women are put on display while men stay modestly suited.  I'm just a simple chiropractor, this I do not know.  But as a feminist chiropractor I felt it necessary to balance the scales even just a bit, and so I scoured the internets for bare and crooked torsos, and came up with these sorry fellows:
Just look at these two.  I spent hours - HOURS - analyzing these forms.  Forward head positions, anteriorly rotated glenohumeral joints, hyperkyphotic position (looking at you, Lance), externally rotated hips... these men need serious rehabilitation.  I can barely stand to look at these postures for another second.  

I'm not the only one concerned about the postures of the rich and famous.  An old school mate of mine who has become a Trainer To The Stars! recently wrote about this very issue.  Of course he wrote about it for People Magazine and can speak first hand of Jessica Simpson's posture, but the important thing is that someone is doing something about the Celebrity Posture Problem.  Thank you, Harley. 
Because this problem won't fix itself.  Or it may try to, and that will only lead to over-compensation.  You know, the person that tries too hard?

 This extreme and unnatural arch will lead to low back joint pain.  The stilettos that I'm assuming she is wearing are likely a)stunning, b)worth my monthly mortgage payment and c)putting excessive pressure on her lumbar facet joints.  This position is unsustainable - she will topple backward eventually.  Not since WWII has anyone been so concerned that PARIS COULD FALL AT ANY MOMENT. This is the perfect example of a failed attempt at good posture.  "Chest out, shoulders back" does not good posture make!

The moral of this blog is that we are all just trying to fight gravity.  We are all of us trying to keep our heads up to make it through another day, and some of us are going to do it more gracefully than others.  But stop telling me how bad your posture is; stand proud and tall like you are on the red carpet.  I don't hear Miley or Avril or Paris or Lance apologizing (oh... right... forgot about this too.... and this... ) so you shouldn't either. 

Do some postural work! See a chiropractor! Try pilates!
And if all else fails, fake it like a celebrity!