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.
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