Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Still walking the walk

Since my blog post last week about walking in high heels was such a hit I thought I would continue in the vein. More insight on how to walk the walk. . .

Some women seem to instinctively know how to make walking in heels work. Sofia Vergara's character Gloria proudly totters on her heels during a family outing to Disneyland on last week's Modern Family . Fianlly, she, too, succumbs and hilarity ensues! Of course, that is comedy, not real life. 

Back in my childhood, girls were encouraged by their mothers, as well as their Girl Scout leaders (via whatever merit badge we got from doing so) to take the Wendy Ward Charm School course at the local Montgomery Ward Department store. Years ago, long before it went bankrupt and was sold to an online retailer, Ward's offered a multi-week course that prepared us to be "young ladies".  In the basement of a store in a strip mall.

But, location notwithstanding, we were transformed. We learned to walk -- rather, glide -- across the floor. In imitation of the Hayley Mills movie heroines so popular at the time, we put our heels down 6 inches in front of our toes and walked a straight line, while balancing single slim books on our heads. Certainly something you had to practice. Later in life,  I needed to "walk like a man" when playing Rosalind with my all-female Shakespeare troupe in college. I practiced walking with a wider stance, legs moving from the hip, avoiding the swiveling that set feet in a line in front of each other. A more liberating, balanced way to walk, for sure. But a gait that called out for sensible shoes, not "date night shoes."

At Wendy Ward we also learned very useful advice about how to sit. When seated, we were told, the only acceptable place to cross your legs is at the ankles, never the knees. Moreover, "our knees should be best friends" i.e., we must keep them together when seated. This is still great advice for whenever you're not wearing trousers. Particularly if you're on a panel and seated at a table without a table skirt, or up on a dias or stage sitting in a place of honor. Nothing kills credibility like showing too much thigh, or worse, offering the audience a glimpse up your skirt.

I see many online advice blogs that offer help to girls today. From what I see out there,  I can only surmise their readership is low. And I wonder if any virtual expert or e-communal experience can ever be half as effective as those after-school sessions where we learned to walk like we owned the world in the basement of Montgomery Ward.

No comments:

Post a Comment