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Unread 12-22-2008, 06:43 PM   #1
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Girl Mannerisms and Body Language

Are there any distinctive mannerisms or body language that I could practice to get used to for crossplaying a female character, separate from character-specific ones? All I can really think of is sitting with legs crossed more, and higher voice. I have no idea what I'd have to do for a "girl walk" or subtle things like where to put my hands when I sit, stand, pose, and so on, so any help on this issue would be greatly appreciated! I tend to get absolutely immersed in the character I'm portraying, so the more detail you can provide, the better.
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Unread 12-22-2008, 07:51 PM   #2
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Girls walk with their feet landing in front of them, as if they were walking on a balance beam. You can practice walking that way on a curb or something. It'll also make your hips sway a bit too. Girls also tend to have more exaggerated expression and when talking to someone they use their hands a lot and look into the eyes of whoever they're talking to. Another thing I've noticed is that when you compliment them they look at whatever you complimented them about. For example, a girl's friend says the color of nail polish she's wearing looks really good on her. The girl who got the compliment will then hold out her hand and look at her nails moving her hand around a bit to get different views of it and probably wiggle her fingers around a bit too. Oh, and when they think something is funny, unless they think it's really funny, instead of laughing they'll put one, or both, of their hands in front of their mouth, usually in a loose fist and giggle a bit.
At least that's how the girls I know act. If I think of anything else I'll let you now. Hope this helps!
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Unread 12-23-2008, 12:54 AM   #3
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Lol I laugh like a loser personally XD So i'm more like "HA HA HA HA *wide open mouth*" but it's probably best to over compensate just like most ftm crossplayers do(I'm a girl). You don't necessarily have to walk like you're on a balance beam but you should walk with your knees(and legs in general) closer together. Girls wave generally when they see someone they know even if it's just a small wave. Girls don't usually lean back on things like guys do especially if they're wearing a skirt. They also sit with their legs close together, cross legged or out to the side(though you want to do out to the side if you're wearing a skirt) when sitting on the ground or a chair(ankles can be crossed if you so desire but most girls don't do that I've found). What will also help is looking at how the particular character you're crossplaying acts-it's all well and good to act like a pretty little princess but if you're crossplaying a yanki girl then she'll probably be pretty 'guyish' in her mannerisms ^^ Oh yeah, girls also make more 'delicate' shapes with their hands rather than precise or just slapping their hand down on a table. For example you would let your fingers bend or relax a little. Sometimes girls will make loose fists when they've got nothing better to do with their hands(like if they're sitting down with no purse or anything) rather than a fully clenched fist.
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Unread 12-25-2008, 07:14 PM   #4
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Okey, I can't help much because I'm a guyish girl but... xD
Okay, I don't mention what's already said so, girls seem to stay with their feet close together and they sometimes have their hand(s) on their hips when they stay.

Heh, not much but...but...
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Unread 12-26-2008, 02:54 PM   #5
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...You probably don't wanna hear from me about how GIRLS act even though I am one...

Girls usually sit with their legs together. Get into the habit of putting your legs together. Sometimes crossing them helps.

When sneezing, girls seem to cover their mouth with their hands. When walking, their legs
are more close to each other than guys would normally do.

I have this habit of leaning my balance to one side and I see my friends do that very often. It may just be us, but I see many girls do that.

When talking I see girls talk with the word "like" almost every sentence. For example :
"So yeah...and then I like...did that..." etc. It may just be me, but I see many girls do this.

Girls tend not slide down the chair. This means their 'butt' is where it's suppose to be. It's not sliding down the chair. Most girls put their back straight to the back of the chair or slouch a bit (but not like the totally L slouch style).

Girls tend to not put their hands in their pockets. Their hands are usually outside the pockets since they are holding bags, purses...etc.

...Hm...What else...
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Unread 12-27-2008, 03:20 PM   #6
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I agree that the character's mannerisms determine how you should act more than their gender, but here are some tips anyway!

Most people have already said that you should walk with your knees closer together or some variation. One way to help you do this is to think of how girls and guys register space. When a guy walks, subconciously he claims the space as his and therefore walks with wider strides and kind've thinks of his shoulders like an outward extension of himself.

When a girl walks, she is doing the exact opposite. Subconciously, she is trying to take up the least amount of space possible. That is why girls walk with closer strides and keep their arms a bit closer to their sides. I agree that stepping with one foot in front of another will definatley help, especially if you're wearing heels.

Other than that, stand with your weight on one foot or the other. It'll also make your hips more prominent. Also, play with your hair if it's long enough and whenever you walk past a reflective surface, check how you look in it. Most girls are self concious.

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Unread 12-28-2008, 04:27 AM   #7
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Many good suggestions so far! I'll just elaborate on a couple of them...

When trying to figure out how to walk and stand like a girl, it helps to think about the difference in skeletal structure between men and women. Mens' legs come together at the hips in an inverted V shape. A man's pelvis is narrow, so his legs are slightly bow-legged (they go out at the knees).

A woman's pelvis, however, is wide (for childbirth), and there is space between the points at which her legs attach to her hips. Consequently, all women are very slightly knock-kneed. (You can see this in the exaggerated silhouette of anime girls in swimsuits or bloomers; they'll have a little triangle of open space between their upper thighs, and their knees come together.)

This structure means that women walk with a greater degree of hip rotation than men. They step with their feet more in line with the center of the body to maintain their balance, and as they move their weight forward on that foot, the hip rotates over/around the femur to allow the other leg to move into position for the next step. Practice stepping forward in a straight line and "rolling" your hip back as you move.

Women also tend to do "hip pops" a LOT more than men. They will stand with most of their weight on one foot and rock the hip sideways (which rests one leg while maintaining their center of gravity). Most women stand like this naturally, and only stand straight and balanced when they're thinking about it (or if they have been trained to).

Visual example: In this picture, compare Noin's (green) posture to Treize (blue) and Zechs (red). One knee is bent, her hips are at an angle, and if you were to draw a line through the center of her body, it would make a shallow S shape rather than a straight line. (Note: In that picture, Zechs is crossplaying F -> M, but she's standing straight to look more like a man.)

Other demonstrative hip pop pictures: Photo 1. Photo 2.

Also (as you can see in the above photos) it is often considered a feminine trait to carry one arm bent so that the hand is above the waist. Men tend to swing their arms out to the side (picture the "jock walk), while women tend to bring them in closer to their bodies. You can also pose for photos with one hand on your hip, and your hips turned sideways, to exaggerate the small waist and wider hips typical of a woman's figure.
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Unread 12-28-2008, 10:03 AM   #8
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I laugh like a loser too. Pictures of me laughing always turn out horrendous because my mouth is wide open. XD

Definitely use your arms and talk with your hands. They never like to stay at my sides.

When sitting down, cross one leg over the other. I usually switch legs once when starts to fall asleep. Definitely cross them when wearing a skirt. It's usually unfeminine to keep your legs open when sitting down (although some of us girls, like me, do it anyway. XD)

Oh, and when standing I usually put most of my weight on one foot and lean to one side.
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Unread 12-28-2008, 11:35 AM   #9
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Every now and again Pull out a little compact mirror and check your make-up.i have 2 sisters and they will NOT leave the house without checking and making sure there make-up is perfect & if they are in public & a little bit of make-up needs applied they find the closest seat/bathroom to apply it (Arhghgh)

also umm Girls have a thing where they ALWAYS have to go to the bathroom in Pairs or Groups,soo yea (strange huh?)

girls like to make sure they have pretty nails & if one breaks it ruins there WHOLE DAY *cough* happends to my 21 year old sister lol right after her nails are done!

umm what else... oh i found that when girls are not talking to anyone,they are ALWAYS TEXTING on there phone..

putting there fingers through there hair,twirling there hair,brushing there hair....

when trying to stand after sitting on ground raise to your knee's then upward (if wearing a skirt or dress.. )

most girls love attention,Comments on things they recently bought ect.. they love to talk,(im a guy) i Love to listen! Some girls like the guy to go up to them rather they go up to the guy... lol (maybe i can write a small book?) lol

i think there's more lol i cant remember right now....
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Unread 01-01-2009, 10:49 PM   #10
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Uuuum... Geez it's hard to discribe your own mannerisms...

If girls are standing around you'll note we don't stand still. We flip out cellphones, fiddle with buttons or our hair, rootle through bags to check everything is there, change sitting position about one hundred times and then start up a conversation about anything.

Uhm... Can't help with walking. I have terrible posture... But I reckon putting one foot right in front of the other isn't a normal walking pattern unless you're crossplaying a gymnast. But when walking try swinging your hips a little more.

We like mirrors. A lot.

Most girls are generally very huggy people. You note lots of girls hug each other when they see each other or when they're saying goodbye or for an achievement or for support.

Hmmm... When eating girls generally don't try and fit the whole edible object in their mouth...

Basically women are a little softer than men, more subtle but a lot more noisy...
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Unread 01-02-2009, 01:45 PM   #11
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I probably won't be much help since I'm not really 'girly', but...

Girls tend to talk. Alot. And very loudly.

Girls usually walk with their legs closer together than men do. And you should probably try swinging your hips when walking.

Like Aihoshi-chan said, girls don't try to fit all of what they're eating into their mouth. (I do though. xD; ) They take good sized bites that they can easily chew and swallow.

Girls generally sit with their legs together or with one leg crossed over the other. Especially when wearing a skirt. (Though I sit with mine spead apart. I never wear skirts, except for cosplay.)

Usually when girls are just standing around with nothing to do, we'll play with our hair, pull out cell phones, start talking about basically anything, or go through bags/purses/etc.
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Unread 01-13-2009, 05:04 PM   #12
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Try to keep everything close to your body. Girls don't like to take up a lot of space, be it their limbs or personal items. When sitting, keep your knees as close together as possible. If your hands are unoccupied, place them on your lap; keep your elbows tucked close to your body. Sit properly on a chair (don't slide your butt forward so that it's on the edge of the seat); if your legs are short enough that they don't touch the ground, feel free to swing them back and forth. Put your hands under your thighs when sitting if you have nothing better to do with them--girls' hands are usually colder than guys', so this will give you the illusion of warming them up. If you have any personal items (purses, shopping bags, etc, jacket), make sure that they are touching you and are as close to you as possible. Purses should be placed immediately next to you so that it touches your hip, worn on your shoulder, or placed on your lap. Any bags should be placed next to you or on the floor so that it touches your foot. Jackets, if they aren't being worn, are draped over the same forearm that usually carries a purse and rested on your lap--in this case, the purse should remain on your shoulder.

When standing, again, keep your knees close together. Assume the "knock knee" position, where your feet are turned inwards and your knees are close together. Girls stand like this because it makes their thighs look thinner and their stance cuter/bashful. Jut out a hip and rest your weight on that side of the body--it creates curves. If you have the urge to put your hands in your pockets, only put your thumb in there. Girls' pockets are very small, and since clothes are fitted tight to our body, we can rarely fit our whole hand in our pockets without it being uncomfortable/ridiculous looking.

While walking, slightly swing your hips (don't over-emphasize this or you will look ridiculous). Any reflective surface you pass you should linger by; take the opportunity to check your reflection and straighten your hair/clothes/apply lip gloss. Constantly fix your hair, either by messing with your bangs (if you have any) or fluffing your hair to give it more volume. Some girls like to hold the strap of their purse while walking to give it more stability on their shoulders--shrug/pull your purse back onto your shoulder every now and then, girls have narrow shoulders, so bags tend to slide off.

When eating, be methodical. Cut small, bite-sized pieces, and chew thoroughly before swallowing (count to 26 if you have to). Don't feel obligated to finish your plate. Be conscious of what you are ordering--lean towards healthier rather than tastier, as girls like to watch what they eat. Say no to dessert. Do not add more salt or pepper to your food (condiments like ketchup and pickles are okay, though). Don't chug your drink. Don't even finish your drink if you can take it with you--If you take your drink with you, wrap a napkin around it so your hands don't get wet/colder. Clean up when you are finished eating: this includes taking a spare napkin and wiping crumbs/sauces up and off the table before discarding your trash. Try not to spill anything on your clothes while eating--If you do, immediately clean it up.

Blink often; double-blink occasionally. It will show off your makeup, and make you look more coy. When you laugh or yawn, hover your hand over your mouth; when you cough or sneeze, aim it towards the crook of your elbow and away from people--girls talk with their hands and touch people often, so don't wipe the boogers on your hands onto other people. If you are bored/restless, do not drum your fingers against any surfaces, but rather take your phone out and start texting people, sort through your purse, fix your hair, check your makeup, clean your nails, etc.

...Wow. I just about wrote a short story. Hope this helped! o__o;;;

Edit: Also, utility purses: Most girls I know carry at least a wallet, coin purse, sunglasses, lip gloss, miscellaneous makeup, tissues, cell phone, and an MP3 player in their purse. Along with the above items, I also carry a pack of cards and my DS.

Last edited by RuenRuen : 01-13-2009 at 05:11 PM.
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Unread 01-13-2009, 06:51 PM   #13
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for standing: AVAAnteres said it best: the 'hip pop' thing is one of the most noticable aspects of feminine posing/standing. The most natural pose I strike (and I have to stop myself from doing this, since I'm usually crossplaying!) is the hip popped to the side and my opposite hand on my hip. Girls also tend to pull their shoulders back and push their chest out more; to help you with this, clasp your hands behind your back when you have nothing to do with them.

for walking: Watch how female models walk on runways, then tone down and recreate that movement for yourself. models on runways actually cross their legs over with each step while girls walk with their feet almost one right in front of the other. Wearing high heels helps draw out this tendency since they force you to use your center of balance more often. The way women walk is effected by not only their hip structure but also the location of their center of gravity, which is in their hips (unlike men, whose center of gravity is in their shoulders. That's why guys tend to widen out there whereas women tend to widen at the hip). Girls 'sway' their hips when they walk to some degree; I find that to reproduce that tendency, you have to drop your hip every time you take a step. Try doing that in an exaggerated way, then tone it down as you get used to it.

Sitting: legs together. LEGS TOGETHER. Girls sit with their backs to their chairs if they're not leaning over the table; they do not slump back in their seats. They tuck their skirts in. Cross your legs at the ankles or knee, and keep any feet not touching the ground with their toes pointed downwards.

I hope this helps!
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Unread 01-13-2009, 07:29 PM   #14
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...I hate to put something here, but I saw it on myself in a Cid picture and it was one of those things that gives away my game when I'm crossplaying as a guy.

Girls... when they get really excited or something tend to bring a hand up to their mouth. This... is something I'm trying to break myself of since I'm dressing the other way but.... Yeah. Do it.
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Unread 01-14-2009, 01:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sipesh View Post
Girls... when they get really excited or something tend to bring a hand up to their mouth. This... is something I'm trying to break myself of since I'm dressing the other way but.... Yeah. Do it.
Yeah, actually I noticed that my hand is almost always near my mouth for some reason. I have no idea why I keep bringing it up there, but apparently I find excuses: I tap my lip to think, blow warm air on cold hands, rest my chin on them, cover my mouth to laugh/sneeze/cough/yawn, cover my mouth when I'm excited/scared, chew on the pad of my thumb when bored/restless...

Anyway. Not all girls do this, but if you're wearing jewelry, be sure to turn the clasp around to the back every once in awhile. Pick lint and fuzzies out of friends' clothes/hair if they have any, and fix their jewelry for them. Just thought of these while turning the clasp on my own necklace, lol.
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