Owning It - What I Learned in Posing Class (and it's not what you think!)

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I had my first posing class a month ago.

 Basically, it’s a class where they teach you how to stand and turn and walk onstage to best compliment your body. Sounds simple, but it’s not. The movements feel awkward and uncomfortable and you are in a cold studio in a bikini with a bunch of other women. I’m pretty sure I’ve had nightmares that mimic that exact scenario. 

That first class I brought my competition shoes- tall 5″ heels, which I keep hidden from my preschooler in my closet just in case the topic of his mommy’s “clear heels” should come up at school. (There’s only so much explaining I can do at school pick up.)  I wore shorts and a tank top and shoved my posing suit waaaaay down in my bag, intending on waiting a few more weeks before I brought that bad boy out. But two minutes into class, the instructor sent all of us shy, shorts-clad ladies into the ladies room with the direction to come out in our suits. “I can’t help with what I can’t see.” Shoot. There goes that idea.

Ok. I told myself “In two months I’ll be standing on stage in nothing but a teeny bikini and a stage tan, so if I can’t do it in front of these ladies… I’m toast.” So I did. And the weirdest thing happened. After two awkward minutes we all started chatting, and bemoaning the cold, and laughing at our goof ups. We practiced different poses, turns, walks. And it felt… liberating. That’s not what I expected from this- actually the show itself had up until now seemed like the hardest thing for me to wrap my mind around. Lifting, kicking my own butt in the gym, powering through bootcamps and watching my nutrition all felt like a challenge, like training. But the idea that at the end I’d put on a sparkly suit and makeup and tan and strut on stage felt alien to me. And mid-model walk it dawned on me why. So much of our lives we are told not to be “too”. Too loud, too fancy, too needy, too sexy, too strong, too… anything. Especially as a wife and mother- we somehow relegate ourselves to this role in the background. When someone tells you that it’s okay to get out there and BE confident and flirty and sexy? Those aren’t things I’m really used to hearing after two kids. So much of me has been torn between feeling like the show is not really my ideal venue but the preparation and strength and tenacity that it takes to get there have far outweighed my doubts. When I look in the mirror at posing I see beautiful women, but I also see badasses who climb ropes, flip tires, lift weights, and swing kettlebells all while leading full lives on top of that. In well-shaped legs I see heavy deadlifts and squats, I see strong backs from doing pull-ups and defined arms from grinding out every last rep they could handle.  

I am so excited to get up there as a novice and celebrate with these women all of our hard work. I am excited (and scared) to get out there and “own it”. I have zero expectations, but I have learned so much about myself so far. In that class I expected to learn how to look my best on that stage-  but it really is teaching me how to feel my best- in real life.  So if you get a chance to try a posing class- try it. Put on the suit. Smile. Own it.  

Catherine Wall