Strike a Pose and Make Love to the Camera! 8 Popular Gravure Poses
Gravure (グラビア), the word that immediately conjures up images of young women in bikinis, lingerie, school uniforms, and cosplay, is an aspect of Japanese popular culture that has become more mainstream as it has evolved and matured. The closest non-Japanese equivalent might be “glamour modeling” but even that may not be completely accurate as gravure content integrates cuteness with sexiness in a near indistinguishable manner.
Such images may be quite jarring to outsiders as the immediate reaction may be to interpret it as lewd or pornographic but gravure is just another aspect of the entertainment business in Japan. People in Japan seem to find the whole idea of gravure harmless and fairly amusing as shown by the majority of photos tagged with #グラビアポーズ on Instagram featuring babies and pets in the “sexy poses”. Even if they may dress pretty conservative most of the time, this is the country where it’s accepted as perfectly normal to be naked with complete strangers at a sento or onsen.
With the lines between model, idol, actress, race queen, AV actress, talent, and gravure being quite blurred, it is not that unusual for someone to move freely between them. Noted actresses like Yukie Nakama, Maki Horikita, Haruka Ayase, Erika Toda, Yui Aragaki, Yui Ichikawa, and Erika Sawajiri were active as gravure idols in their younger days.
Anyways, here are 8 poses that we have noticed gravure idols seem to use quite frequently. Perhaps you should take notes if you want to raise your sexiness/cuteness? The names given to the poses are probably not the official terms.
Posing on the hands and knees, much like a cat stretching, attention is drawn to either the breasts or buttocks, depending on the positioning of the camera. If taken from the side, the picture can also accentuate the curves of the body as well. Vertically, an upward gaze tends to show vulnerability while a downward gaze shows dominance.
With the model lying on their stomach and possibly propped up by their hands or elbows, the prone position is more relaxed than the cat pose. The model’s gaze is generally from eye level or above and the focus of the shot is on the face and breasts, depending on how high they have propped themselves up. Attention can be shifted to the back or backside with a different camera position as well.
French Girl Position
Turning slightly from the prone position results in the “Draw me like one of your French girls” position (“Titanic” reference) where the model is lying on their side or rotating at the waist to display their legs/torso in the frame as well.
Named for its resemblance to the letter “M”, the “M Pose” (M字ポーズ) can be as conservative as having the legs pulled in tightly towards the chest and can extend out in varying degrees to draw attention to certain body parts.
Generally, Asian women are quite slender, so a large round backside is a pretty rare trait for them to have, even for gravure models who may have an ample bust. Those who do have some “junk in the trunk” (by Japanese standards) do their best to make it stand out as much as possible. One well known variant is the “Nanao pose”, which was made famous by long-legged model/actress Nanao. Not a day seems to go by on Twitter without Yuka Kuramochi snapping a photo of her 100 cm hips. Rina Akiyama, who some of you might know from Kamen Rider or her poster in Metal Gear Solid 3, was even given the nickname “Oshirina” (a combination of her name and “oshiri”, the Japanese word for “butt”) as a compliment to her assets. There are many variations but the main things is that the backside takes the forefront of the picture.
Perhaps designed to accentuate the slender build of the model or make them appear taller than they are, this series of poses is identifiable by straight posture, an arched back, or arms raised above the head.
Basic Standing Pose
Similar to the Stretching Pose but without the arms reaching outward, this one also shows off the curve of the waist or the flatness of the abdominals. The hands may be positioned across the waist area and the head may be titled to give off a feeling of shyness.
Positioning the model on their back and shooting from above, the cleavage of the breasts is highlighted and emphasized. Particular care must be taken as low angles may result in some unflattering pictures.
Obviously, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways that gravure idols can appeal to the camera and make the hearts of their fans race out of control. Hopefully, this was educational as well as entertaining and maybe we’ll do it again soon?
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