The post 5 Body Language Poses That Can Sabotage Success keeps popping up on websites I visit, accompanied by a lovely stock photo of a woman’s lower legs and ankles.
The woman is wearing a sweet pair of black heels. Her ankles are crossed. You can see the flounce of her dress. There’s a little bit of an Alice in Wonderland feel to it. I’m glad women in business are no longer told to wear power suits and shoulder pads.
The post itself contains the following:
“Businesswomen will ask why they aren’t being taken seriously … and it’s often because their body language communicates ‘little girl,’” Sayler says. “Many of these poses, while acceptable in social situations, make women in the business world look small and unimposing.”
“Little-girl poses elevate the stress hormone, cortisol, making a woman feel less confident, whereas a power stance like the ‘Wonder Woman’ pose changes her body chemistry so that she feels more confident and successful,” says Sayler, who doesn’t suggest using the Wonder Woman stance in public, as it’s too aggressive.
Women cross their ankles while standing because it is more comfortable, especially if they’re wearing high heels, but it is not a good idea, because it sends the message that you are shy and insignificant, says Sayler.
So should you enhance your career by trying to make yourself larger and more physically intimidating?
(Note: The phrase “body language poses” is redundant, no? Like … “facial movement expressions.” Or “dance move positions.”)
Personally, I think this is some pre-Nineties-level BS. I am really tired of business advice that, if followed precisely, allows women to attempt to compete to be second place at best. Let’s make our voices deeper! Let’s take up more space when we sit! Let’s clench our fists when we walk into a room, as though we’re ready for a fistfight! I have actual boxing experience (see Bullish Life: What I Learned From Being Captain of My College Debate and Boxing Teams at the Same Time), and I am not going to win any kind of fistfight, ever. This is a losing game.