How to Look Skinny in Photos

10 Red Carpet Secrets to Posing for Photos

look skinny in photos
Charley Gallay for Getty Images

How is it that celebrities always look skinny when they pose for photos on the red carpet? First of all, ask yourself the question: Aren't they all posing in the same way? They are! The secret to looking slim and terrific in pictures is in the way you stand. Once you learn the tricks, any woman can look 10 pounds thinner.

The secret is in the pose. Okay, that and the fact that celebrities starve themselves a week before events and get sprayed by professional tanning people, and wear gut-sucking Spanx (which yes, do really work), and...back to the pose.

5 Secrets to the Skinny Picture Pose

These are five slimming secrets to appearing 10 pounds thinner in photos. You can practice these tips in front of a mirror, but you might want to lock your door first so as not to be caught appearing vain.

  • Secret No. 1: Turn partially sideways to the camera, planting one foot in front of the other. Point your toe to the camera and place your weight on your back foot.
  • Secret No. 2: Pull your head forward slightly to minimize any appearance of a double chin. Some celebrities even place their tongue on the roof of their mouth while smiling.
  • Secret No. 3: Hold your arms slightly away from your body. This keeps any upper arm flab from flattening out and therefore appearing flabbier. Similarly, if you're sitting, cross your ankles to thin out your thighs.
  • Secret No. 4: Pull your shoulders back, your chest forward, and gently suck your stomach in. Be careful not to suck the stomach so far that your ribs show. Someone may see the photo later and cluck to themselves in a bemused, sing-song voice, "She's sucking i-in."
  • Secret No. 5: If you can get away with it without looking like a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Girl wannabe, try the look away trick. To do this, look away from the camera, then turn towards it, breaking into a smile just before the camera clicks. Your smile will appear fresh, not frozen. This trick takes practice behind closed, locked doors.

    Camera Angle Counts

    When taking a photo, it is also important the photographer does not snap the picture from below. This can automatically add another 20 to 50 pounds to the 10 pounds the camera already puts on.

    Hide Flaws With Props

    Use objects you are holding to your advantage by placing them in front of body parts you'd prefer to hide. Keep it simple and natural, such as a purse or corsage in front of your belly or a jacket slung over the shoulder. It works, too. Gwyneth Paltrow used a perfectly placed purse to hide her baby bump before she announced her pregnancy with Apple.

    Believe in Spanx

    If you know you're going to be in photos, put on some Spanx or another comfortable shapewear. It's the modern version of the corset and Spanx is famous for making women all over the world appear 10 pounds thinner.

    When you're shopping for Spanx, think twice about the pantyhose. Like most hose, they tend to tear easily and this brand, in particular, is rather pricey.

    Get a Tan

    Fake tans will make you look and feel skinnier. Unfortunately, in the past, they tended to reek, but science has come a long way. Today, there are quite a few great self-tanning products that look great and don't come with all the fuss and flaws we had to deal with before.

    Wear a Single Color

    The old beauty adage is that black makes you look thinner, and it does. However, it's not just black that will produce this illusion.

    Wearing an entire outfit in just one color will do the trick as well, whether it be white, beige, brown, blue, or red. This trick works because a single color tends to elongate your figure. Avoid entire outfits that are entirely pink, however. Unless it's the right piece, going all-pink can often look a bit too childish.