I’ve gotten into the habit of doing this Peace Out! pose every time I visit a place that makes me feel infinite. I originally got the idea from Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” she explains how our emotions and mentality are affected by the way we carry our bodies.
…for example, we smile when we feel happy, but also, when we’re forced to smile by holding a pen in our teeth like this, it makes us feel happy. So it goes both ways. When it comes to power, it also goes both ways. So when you feel powerful, you’re more likely to do this, but it’s also possible that when you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful.
I liked the idea of empowering the self through body language and given that at the time I was incredibly camera-shy and since every single photo of me was of the back of my head:
I thought I’d create a little power pose for myself in photos. It started when I finished my photo shoot with Jimmy Tatro on top of a roof in West Hollywood. We were about 3 or 4 stories high and feeling pretty good (and impulsive) I thought it would make cool photo to stand on the edge of the building gazing out at the rest of Los Angeles. There’s something about confronting a vast landscape that makes you feel like nothing is impossible. I jumped up onto the roof’s corner edge (please do not attempt), faced the Westside with my legs apart, chest out, shoulders back, and engaged every muscle in my body. –Yes, this was also inspired by my yoga practice. To add to the feeling of empowerment I threw up a Peace/Victory sign directed at the sky.
The shoot was pretty successful and Jimmy loved his final images. I felt this silly photo of me striking my peace pose captured the exact feeling I felt at the end of Jimmy’s shoot. Before the shoot I was a little stressed with production. There was a lot of setup during Jimmy’s shoot (we had a lot of red cups and beer pong tables) that required a lengthly reset time. For the most part I captured the each setup within the first couple of frames. –It was a one take wonder! Since everything worked out so well I felt like anything and everything was doable. ♫ Nothing’s Going to Stop Us Now ♫
Yes, I know it’s a bit cheesy and perhaps delusional. However it reminds me of where I’ve been and where I’m going. Peace out!
Here’s the original Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy on body language and identity: