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You wouldn't mess with this chick.  Head back spells confidence and authority.

You wouldn’t mess with this chick. Head back spells confidence and authority.

This head position prompts phrases such as “She looked down her nose at him in disapproval.” It is the classic eye-glass wearing domineering teacher or librarian look when a student has done something she does not approve of, so she stares him down. The gesture can be done by looking over the glasses or simply by looking down the bridge of the nose. The posture elicits a prey response in others because it puts them in an aggressive relationship with the predator peering down on them. Tilting the head back is a way to adjust the height levels between people because by doing so it raises the level of the eyes by a few inches. Looking down the nose is indicative of someone that is condescending or pushy and is an authoritarian posture but is also a gravity defying body language so shows confidence and positivity. It’s where the phrase “Keep your chin up” come from when we wish others to frame their outlook in a more constructive light. Conversely the chin down shows negativity and destructive thoughts such as judgement.

While the cue can be done without glasses, peering over them by slightly pulling them down as if to get a better view is even stronger. A friend of mine who is a photographer explained to me that he felt turned off by a client that habitually held this posture. For whatever reason, it was her natural tendency to tilt her head back and look down the bridge of her nose at the camera. Since the nose and chin move together they both signal the same sort of high confidence dominant signal. At the time he didn’t know why but was quick to have the model drop this posture because it didn’t feel right to him. I explained to him that he likely felt put off by the posture because it made her appear dominant and authoritative when he was likely looking for a coy pose instead. I was right after all. His reply “Why would anyone want to look at a domineering model peering down on her subjects?” He then explained that he wasn’t doing a stock photo for a fluff editorial, rather “She wanted to look attractive for her boyfriend!” We both found this amusing; he would have received an interesting surprise!