While it’s always fascinating to see who takes home the "Best Actress" trophy, red carpet fashion is hands down the most entertaining part of awards season. On these big nights, young starlets and Hollywood regulars work the camera to impress fashion mags and fans across the world。
While getting all dolled up and donning stunning high-end designer gowns is a big part of the equation, striking a fierce pose is just as important. With the help of Judi James, body language expert and author of "The Body Language Bible," check out the hottest poses and what they mean。
Cool and Casual
To give off a laid-back, this-doesn’t-faze-me look, stars often opt for directly facing the camera and striking this relaxed and natural pose. However, this stance – seen here on actress Angelina Jolie at the 2011 Oscars – can also reveal an alpha-female mindset, James notes. “By facing full on, Angelina suggests supreme status, superiority and intellectual confidence."
Bringing a touch of the dramatic to the red carpet, the arched back pose creates a stunning and confident impression, which is what the always-graceful actress Zoe Saldana -- posing at a 2009 “Avatar” premiere -- is doing here。
“This arched look is pure retro, stolen from fashion models of the 1950s,” James explains, noting that it’s often a pose struck by those who see themselves “as a bit of a thoroughbred, class act。”
Hand on the Hip
Depending on the dress, the facial expression and even the exaggeration of the shoulder, this feminine pose can range from straight-up sexy to girl-next-door. And because everyone knows country-pop star Taylor Swift as America’s sweetheart, this cutesy pose – shown here at the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards – suits her perfectly。
But stars should be careful, James says: “Without a smile to soften the look, it can appear to signal impatience with the red carpet process。” And no one likes a diva!
You know what they say: If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And when stars have a gown with breathtaking back detail – like "Homeland" beauty Claire Danes, here at the 2012 Golden Globes – they want to show it off, which is where this pose comes in。
Not only does it show off the dress’s – and the star’s – goods, but it’s also an attention-grabbing stance. “It’s a way of parading sexuality without employing cheesy or even trashy devices like cleavage or thigh,” James notes。
This pose is a surefire way to show off every curve on the stars’ rockin’ bodies, James explains. “This Miss World-style popped leg shows an eye for shape, lines and design and ensures a full-length shot,” she says。
And because actress Anne Hathaway – shown here at the 2011 Golden Globes – is angled away from the camera, she gives off a warm, friendly and open vibe, instead of one that is challenging or aggressive, James says。
Over the Shoulder
To throw a coy and sultry look into the mix, many actresses -- like "Black Swan" star Mila Kunis, here at the 2011 Oscars -- love to work the over-the-shoulder pose. It gives off a carefree yet come-hither air while artfully showing off the details on the back of the celeb's dress。
"It's all about old-fashioned flirting, as it accentuates and personalizes the eye gaze, suggesting a very direct invitation to be followed, which works well with fans," James says。
When celebs want to make a bold, confident and strong statement and look like they own the place, they strike a grounded, wide-leg stance, like the one actress Sandra Bullock is pulling off here at a premiere for "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."
Although this look is powerful, the somewhat manly pose actually "signals a down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach to the red carpet process," as James sees it。
While confident poses strike a note with some celebrities, others lean toward softer stances, often opting for the crossed-ankle approach。
Although seasoned red carpet pros are less likely to use this pose, newcomers like model and TV personality Alexa Chung -- featured here at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival -- are regularly seen in this cute, somewhat-shy stance。
"Alexa's signature look suggests a desire to be liked and to avoid criticism or rejection via appearing cute." Some may see this pose as timid, but it can often result in a photo that's quite charming。
Sometimes stars -- like girls -- just want to have fun! That's when they go for silly, goofy and even cheesy poses like the one actress Piper Perabo is striking here at the 2012 Golden Globes. However, when a star is wearing a statement-making dress like Perabo's, the wacky pose can be a way of using humor to deflect criticism, James explains。
In some cases, though, it simply shows that the demands of Hollywood haven't stripped away a fun-loving attitude。
Everyone knows that stars work their booties off to get into shape for movie premieres, TV appearances and awards shows. And sometimes they can't resist flaunting the results of all that hard work。
"This kind of sideways pose is often prompted by a desire to show off months of honing and toning in the gym, resulting in a straight back and flat stomach," James says. When you look as great as actress Emma Stone -- shown here at the 2011 Golden Globes -- who can blame her for being a little self-indulgent?