About a month ago, Kim Kardashian created an attention blitz over the latest in a string of naked selfies she's posted on Instagram and Twitter. Now, whether or not Miss K wants to post pics of herself in the nude is not what interested me. The fact is, Kim K has a great body and she knows it. She's a media sensation, and her naked selfies get attention. So, aside from the idea that shocking behavior gets attention (which we all know, right?), why am I still thinking about it?
Admittedly, I don't have an Instagram account, and I don't follow Kim K on Twitter, so I probably might never have known about the pic except that I was in a TV station lobby watching The View and the ladies of the round table were talking about it. Later that day, mild curiosity sent me to the web to see what everybody was talking about. (sidebar: this was me engaging in the whims of pop culture, something that tends to pass by me because I gave up cable TV a few years ago and spend much of my time in self-imposed writing isolation.) When I saw the picture, the first thing that struck me was, "that's an odd pose." So I did what many women would do in the privacy of their powder rooms: I adopted the exact same pose and looked at my reflection in the mirror. (What? You wouldn't do that? I don't believe you.) And you know what? My body looked better than when I stand straight up.
The pose: feet about shoulder-width apart, torso tipped forward. One arm bent so as to block, the ta-tas from the naked selfie, other hand holding cell phone to take said naked selfie. Face tipped down slightly. A couple of black bars in place to hide what shouldn't be seen.
Breakdown of pose: the closer things are to the frame/mirror, the larger they look. So by pushing hips back and bringing torso forward, hips look smaller. Waist looks smaller. Ta-tas would look bigger except they're hidden behind arm. Head looks biggest (it's closest to camera), creating a slight Bratz-doll quality. Slight tip of head hides chin(s) and neck (rolls). Arms bent reduce bus driver arms.
What I learned (aside from a new weird pose that I'll never use in public) is this: Kim K knows how to make herself look good. And she should. Her image is her brand. Her entire being as a business person, including endorsement deals and video games, is based on her appearance. What I kept thinking about after seeing the picture was that this is something we all should know: how to make ourselves look good.
When I talk about author branding, I point out that "we" are not "our brand." What I mean is that our brand is like our author photo: an edited, airbrushed, well-lit and carefully dressed/made up version of ourselves. We don't roll out of bed after being up half the night and ask a photographer to take our picture. We take time to craft the image with which we want people to connect. That is what we need to do with our brands.
We all have off days. We all have bad habits. We all have mean streaks and lazy spells and jealousy and envy and pettiness. But we also have talent. We have drive. We have vulnerabilities. We each have our own positive message that we carry out through what we try to accomplish (whether we accomplish it the first time around or the fiftieth.) and this is part of our own brand. There are enough critics to point out our flaws and our failings. We need to focus on the positive. Find a way to expose our best qualities, hold them up to a mirror, take a selfie, and, like Kim K, show the world our good side.