8 Bollywood actresses and their signature poses, decoded
by Hasina Khatib
Your favourite Bollywood stars spend almost every waking hour in front of the camera... or preparing to face one. Which hones their scientific knowledge of red carpet-approved posture. It's the reason you're probably only acquainted with one side of Deepika's face — the lady knows how to work her best angle.
Deepika likes to place both arms on her hips and stare down the camera with a smouldering gaze. Her stylist Shaleena Nathani explains, “The pose is designed to draw attention to her best features. It comes off as strong, but not intimidating, and draws attention to those fantastic limbs. It also plays on her statuesque height to convey power.”
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Jacqueline has two sides to her while facing the camera, and the coy smiles in the above images are designed to convey femininity, reveals stylist Shaleena. “The gentle wrist on the neck gives a feminine air while her upturned face catches the light and draws attention to that perfect jawline. The pose exudes a demure sexiness, rather than being diva sexy.”
Jacqueline in public, though? The girl is all about having fun in front of the lens. Celebrity photographer Viral Bhayani elaborates, “The energetic poses and funny faces are designed to deliver that one perfect candid snap.” In a landscape of cagey celebrities guarding their private lives with all the tenacity of a Doberman, Jacqueline’s friendly stance makes her seem approachable.
No, we promise you aren’t seeing double. Kangana can only ever be spotted in public performing her structured, single-hand wave, and there’s a reason why. Bhayani decodes, “The wave signifies power; it’s meant to convey that she’s in absolute control of all aspects of her appearance. While most celebrities try a variety of poses to show off their bags or accessories, Kangana dedicatedly sticks to the wave which has a look-but-don’t-touch formality to it.”
Despite her short span in Bollywood, Athiya is picking up fast. Rule #1 in the handbook being: find a good side and commit to it. Malini Banerji, Fashion Director at ELLE, says, “Since she is still new in the industry, the pose plays it safe. The downturned face throws light squarely on her striking jaw, while her hair and the slight slouch are used to camouflage her newness in front of the camera. Once she figures out what she wants to be and uses the full potential of her height, she will be someone to watch out for.”
Hands on the hips and crossed legs make for Alia’s signature stance when confronted with a camera lens. “Alia doesn’t need the added edge of heels to give her confidence; her even-legged stance works just as well with sneakers. You won’t find her nervously shifting from one foot to the other either; the hands-on-the-hips convey happiness and the fact that she’s supremely comfortable in her own skin,” says Malini.
While she does have a fantastic pout, Alia chooses to draw attention to her brows instead for close-ups. “You’ll find her tilting to one side, (which works brilliantly when she’s trying to flaunt her innovative braids) and raising one eyebrow while looking into the distance. The end result doesn’t look too studied or rehearsed, so it gets a thumbs-up from me.”
The otherwise bubbly Anushka appears to be switching tracks to demure damsel, if the photos from her Ae Dil Hai Mushkil promotion spree are anything to go by. “At this stage in her profession, Anushka knows what works for her and the side profile is definitely a good bet. The downcast eyes display her stunning eye make-up to perfection, and help clinch the outfit together,” explains Malini.
“Anyone who knows Sonam knows that she has a mind of her own. She doesn’t just wear an outfit, she owns it—even if it involves strapping on thigh-high boots for a long flight. The slightly parted lips and erect posture mean that you can be forgiven for thinking that she’s just stepped off the runway, which is usually the case with her sartorial choices anyway,” elaborates Malini.
Showing off that revenge body, Katrina favours one hand on her hip (don't miss those sculpted arms) and one hand free to wave politely at the camera. High slits help to draw attention to her Pilate-honed gams...