Why is pos­ing pi­geon-toed sud­denly in vogue?

Daily Mail - - Life - by Fiona McIn­tosh FASH­ION EDITOR

FROM the di­a­monds in their ears to the cou­ture gowns on their honed bod­ies and the hair on their im­mac­u­lately coiffed heads, ev­ery­thing about an A-lis­ter’s ap­pear­ance on the red car­pet is per­fectly chore­ographed — in­clud­ing that all-im­por­tant per­fect pose for the cam­eras.

Why, then, are in­creas­ing num­bers of fe­male celebri­ties adopt­ing a rather bizarre pi­geon-toed stance?

The trend was kick-started by Gwyneth Pal­trow in 2010, and has since been adopted by a whole host of women — from Hol­ly­wood ac­tress Katie Holmes to high-pow­ered hu­man rights bar­ris­ter Amal Clooney.

They have all re­cently been pic­tured with their hands hang­ing limply, knees knocked and toes turned awk­wardly in­wards; in short, the sort of stance you’d ex­pect a par­tic­u­larly shy child to adopt.

Yet, while hav­ing pi­geon toes has tra­di­tion­ally been some­thing to be avoided — in­deed, gen­er­a­tions of women have scolded their chil­dren for turn­ing their feet in­wards and there are spe­cial shoes to cor­rect the stance — now it seems to be de

rigueur on the red car­pet. The rea­son for this is as de­press­ing as it is fas­ci­nat­ing: th­ese A-list women have worked out that a pi­geon-toed pose is a quick route to look­ing thin­ner, younger, sex­ier and even more ap­proach­able.

THE pose brings your toes to­gether, mak­ing your calf mus­cles look thin­ner and more de­fined, as well as cre­at­ing or ac­cen­tu­at­ing the ap­pear­ance of a thigh gap.

It also works won­ders for pulling in the stom­ach mus­cles (have a go and you’ll see).

Yet th­ese celebri­ties aren’t just try­ing to shrink their al­ready tiny bod­ies — they are also try­ing to make them­selves seem less in­tim­i­dat­ing. As the cam­eras flash away, this pi­geon-toe pose seems to say: ‘Gosh, look at lit­tle old me in the spot­light!’

As evo­lu­tion­ary an­thro­pol­o­gist Dr Anna Machin ex­plains, A-list celebri­ties need to ap­peal to two mar­kets — men and, per­haps more im­por­tantly, other women.

The pi­geon-toed stance sends pow­er­ful bi­o­log­i­cal sig­nals to both gen­ders.

‘Celebri­ties are a com­mod­ity — they need other women to like them so they go to see their films,’ she says.

‘In re­al­ity they may be highly suc­cess­ful, pow­er­ful women, but with this pose they are try­ing to make them­selves look more ap­proach­able. The awk­ward pose says: “I’m not an Al­pha fe­male, I’m just like you.” ’

ex­cept, of course, sur­rounded as they are by agents, im­age builders and en­tire mar­ket­ing teams, they are not re­motely like us. So don’t imag­ine for a mo­ment the pi­geon-toed pose is nat­u­ral — it takes a lot of prac­tice to per­fect faux- in­no­cence when you’re a fa­mous Hol­ly­wood diva. And while some men may find the

stance in­el­e­gant, sub­con­sciously it pan­ders to the male ego.

It’s no se­cret that rich and pow­er­ful women can in­tim­i­date the liv­ing day­lights out of your av­er­age man. There­fore, by ap­pear­ing gauche and in need of male pro­tec­tion, th­ese A - list women are send­ing out a po­tent sig­nal.

A re­cent sur­vey by the Univer­sity of Texas dis­cov­ered that while men say they ad­mire women who are more in­tel­li­gent and pow­er­ful than they are, they back away from dat­ing them — choos­ing in­stead non-threat­en­ing girl­friends who don’t ‘ di­min­ish their feel­ings of mas­culin­ity’. In mak­ing the poser seem more vul­ner­a­ble, the pi­geon-toed pose may also make women look younger, too.

As Camilla Mor­ton, au­thor of Run­ning In High Heels, says: ‘It makes your legs look great and your hips jut out — and don’t shoes look so much bet­ter viewed side- on?’

It’s enough to make any woman turn in her toes . . .

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