Help me kill my inner George Lucas
December 15, 2011 11:25 AM   Subscribe

I have to record myself interviewing others for work, and to my horror noticed I pose in such a way that gives me a double chin all the time. This is gross and makes me look weird/incompetent. How can I not do this anymore, ASAP?

Whenever I look down at something I let my chin collapse into my neck instead of pointing my chin out and down. This looks TERRIBLE, awkward and I need to stop doing this immediately, even though it feels natural. However, I suspect I do it all the time, especially while I read a book/papers in front of me, etc. I will look much more competent as an interviewer if I learn to hold my head better and pose less awkwardly, and it will make me look more attractive in general. But how do I retrain myself entirely on how I hold my head? I suspect there is some wisdom from dance, acting, physical therapy, etc. I could use here, I just don't know how to start.
posted by slow graffiti to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Sit in front of a mirror - a good-sized freestanding more or less flat one, not a handheld or awkwardly-angled one. Find poses that look good. Memorize them, practicing with your eyes closed and then open them to check in the mirror.

It's just rehearsal, that's how people learn how not to look like normal dorks on the red carpet etc.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:29 AM on December 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Consider working with a photographer to determine which is your "good" side. It's well known that most people don't have symmetrical faces, and by determining which angles photograph best, you can improve your onscreen appearance.

As for reading during interviews, consider either memorizing your material or at least reducing it to notes. You must practice, practice, practice, especially if you're going to be recorded. This will also improve your performance by making your delivery more natural. Finally, consider using some teleprompter apps for your iPad or computer and elevating the output screen to a place within your field of view. Then you won't have to look down.
posted by Hylas at 11:35 AM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Chin up! I never knew I had a double chin until a cousin of mine, afflicted with the same condition, was taking a snapshot of me. It's hereditary, and I suspect mine's bad since I'm very tall and am constantly looking down at people.

Just before pressing the camera button, she yelled out "Chin up!" I didn't even know why she was saying it at the time, but I did as told (my cousin is very persuasive). It's not hard to remember, especially since it's an easy, short phrase, and it's not a complex move, so you shouldn't have much trouble executing it. Just pop your chin up an inch or two--easy as can be, and makes a huge difference.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:48 AM on December 15, 2011

Best answer: Chin up, and (this is the big one):


I shoot people on video a lot, and even beautiful young actresses appear to have a double chin if you shoot them from below. It's just a super unflattering angle.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:51 AM on December 15, 2011 [8 favorites]

Three tricks I use to do similar work:

Put what you have to read to your extreme right or left, depending on camera positions etc., rather than having it centered. If you tilt your head to the opposite side and cast your eyes crosswise to the material your reading you can elongate your neck as you look down, rather than shortening it.

If you wear your hair long, wear it loose. Style it so your face is visible, of course. But a little movement in your hair will distract viewers from your chin

Hold your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth whenever your mouth is closed. Like the last motion of the tongue when you say the word 'teeth.' This tightens the muscle so that it's not hanging down, causing your jowl to appear larger.
posted by emilycardigan at 11:53 AM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wear a turtle neck.
posted by jefeweiss at 12:07 PM on December 15, 2011

Best answer: Pay attention to lighting and shadows -- when I'm in normal light I don't have a double chin but I'm so pale that a flash (especially head-on) washes out all contrast between my chin and my neck, giving me a double chin or, worse, a neck-chin. It happens less on video, but it still does happen on video. I am just not a high-contrast individual so I translate badly to 2D.

I'm experimenting with a very light bronzer to see if I can add a little contrast for when there's a head-on flash like that. I do not yet have a conclusive result for you. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:17 PM on December 15, 2011

I have much more of a double chin than I had previously suspected. I believe this is because when I see myself in a bathroom mirror, my chin is hidden by the shadow from a higher-placed light. When I get a photo taken, the light is typically head-on, thus showing off my neck flab in all its pasty glory.

Just a thought.
posted by Madamina at 12:51 PM on December 15, 2011

Improving your posture in general can do wonders.

Also: hold your papers or book up (or place them on something higher) when you read them, so you won't have to look down as much.
posted by amtho at 12:53 PM on December 15, 2011

Even if you're interviewing someone face-to-face, practice sitting up straight at looking him in the eye, or his eyebrows; don't dip your chin downward. Get in the habit (it's difficult to remember but comes with practice) of always elongating your neck and mentally trying to touch the ceiling with your scalp while sitting down.

I can't believe AskMe is enabling this ridiculousness. You have a double chin, I'm under 8% body fat and I have a double chin, almost everyone you know has a double chin when not looking up. It only looks awkward or weird if you are looking right at it to the exclusion of the rest of your face.
Some folks (including me) happen to be sensitive about a particular feature, whether it's logical or rational or whatever. Even when I was very slender I still had a double chin if I didn't hold my head just so in photos. Yes, it bothered me enough to practice ways of making my jawline look stronger in photographs.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:17 PM on December 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

If you touch your tongue to the top of your mouth, it'll tighten the muscles to reduce/eliminate any sort of double chin (doesn't work if you're talking, obviously).

I really think it's mostly a camera angle/viewing angle, thing, though.
posted by Comrade_robot at 2:06 PM on December 15, 2011

Mod note: less name-calling more helpful, thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:18 PM on December 15, 2011

The most helpful advice I ever got about posture and head angle was this: you know the part of your head where your hair starts, where the hair whorl would be on a baby? (This spot is toward the back of your head.) Imagine that you have a string attached to that, pulling you straight up.
posted by chickenmagazine at 3:04 PM on December 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

« Older And when Santa squeezes his fat white @%# down...   |   Will we have trouble bringing camera equipment to... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.