Deportment refers to the way a lady carries herself; how she moves, walks, inclines her head, her manners etc. A lady walks, talks, eats, stands, quite differently than a male counterpart and it is the sum of all of these parts that embodies what it is to be a lady. As someone once noted, all ladies are women but not all women are ladies, especially in today’s modern world where dress and roles in life cannot always be easily identified as male or female. But if you are serious about creating a total feminine illusion then deportment is something that should be studied even if you only use bits and pieces.
Much about creating the feminine illusion is to do with clothing, shape, makeup and there is much in the mental aspects of confidence. Often the bridge between the two can be aspects of deportment which make the whole make sense. Indeed, deportment and physical exercises are often a physiological key into ‘feeling’ more feminine and lead to that eventual confidence of feeling feminine and less than a ‘guy in a dress’. It’s hard to dispute. We see the results weekly when we see a novice trying a pair of 3” heels for the first-time. Sure, the first ungainly steps can look awkward but after a short-time anyone can walk taller and more serene in a pair of heels with a little help. Indeed, heels naturally re-align the body into a more feminine shape by shifting the weight onto the balls of the feet and pushing the buttocks slightly out.
So what’s important to learn from deportment to help complete your feminization? Is it more important to stand like a lady or to be able to have the table-manners of a lady? The list can go on and on as to what you can do to help perfect the image but we are trying to distill it down to the ‘must-have’ pointers that will give you the most gain with the least pain.
- Stand Tall in Heels: A girl unable to walk in heels is a big giveaway. Choose an appropriate heel height in a comfortable shoe that fits. Next, practice in the confines of your home how to walk with good posture: stand up straight with your shoulders back. Do not be tempted to stoop even if you are 6’ tall – even tall women look feminine.
- Walk With Confidence: Walk heel to toe with small steps/strides and notice that women on the whole walk slower and more graceful than men. Practice as often as possible and always walk with confidence. Keep legs, feet and knees as close together as you can and start by taking steps half as long as you would normally. This will feel terribly awkward to begin with but with practice it will become second nature.
- Keep Shoulders Still: For the most part women’s shoulders stay still when walking whereas men’s definitely move. If you stop the shoulders moving you will find the rest of your walk will look and feel a lot more feminine. By keeping shoulders still you’ll make your hips sway when striding. When practicing, exaggerate the hip sway from side to side – you can always calm it down when you go out but make sure you practice in an exaggerated fashion so you know what it looks and feels like.
- Hold Your Head Up High: When standing or walking ladies tend to keep heads held high as if a piece of string were pulling from the center of the top of the head upwards. This does not mean walking stiffly however, indeed, many ladies walks with a relaxed gait.
- Stand Compact and Curved: Do not forget the principles when you stop walking. It’s very important to retain your new improved posture when you become stationary; remember, chest out and shoulders back; sometimes turning the palms outward in an open position help force the shoulders back too. Stand with arms close to and in front of the body, lightly clutched together. Using a purse or handbag is an excellent ‘prop’ to help melt away any awkwardness with such new mannerisms. A good exercise is to stand with your right foot pointing straight ahead as if towards the 12 on a clock and then the left foot pointing to the 10. Slowly shift all the weight to the left foot whilst at the same time slightly bending the knee of the right foot. This is a much more relaxed and feminine stance than a male stance and you can practice many variations.
- Talk Softly: Ladies tend to talk with a softer tone than men. Tone is different to pitch and although ladies tend to talk in a higher pitch the tone is just as important, if not more so. Try concentrating on creating a more pleasing tone rather than just exaggerating the pitch.
- Take Care when Sitting: Sitting down and standing again are very tricky in heels and need practicing otherwise they are another ‘giveaway’ when you are out. When sitting you should keep knees together and remember to straighten your skirt or dress under your legs as you sit. Such movements need practice in order to appear second nature. Once sitting legs should remain slightly to the side with knees together and remember good upper body posture at all times. If you must cross your legs, a lady will only cross her legs at the ankle and no higher.
Some of this will seem very old-fashioned but try to implement some aspects where you need most help and you will increase the chances of passing as a lady. Just as an actress needing to play a part of a different period may do, watch some of the old Hollywood starlets on Turner Classics and mimic how they walk and talk.
Above all, have fun and be confident in all you do. Even if you are not the most graceful, if you walk across a room with an air of confidence and purpose and you look presentable, no-one will question what or who you are!