How Celebrities Emulate Classical Art in their Instagram Photos

In the age of social media, one should be adept of the trends in order to stand out. Look at the crazy world of Facebook as an example. In order to blend in, you should know what’s the latest news and what the young people are saying these days. In our case, you’re totally out of date if you still don’t know the meaning of lodi and petmalu. It’s the same in Twitter, where it’s all about what’s hot and what’s not.

The world of Instagram, however, has a different battlefield and battle armors: photographs. Basic Instragram users must at least know how to take pictures using their cameras, and apply appropriate filters on them. Selfies are commonly done by these type of users (and some occasional food and nature shots, as well).

Advanced Instagram users, meanwhile, know not only the filters but the whole mechanics of photography and modelling including the lightings, the wardrobe, and of course the pose.

Some pose are not showy, but some are. But do you know what they are called and where they did come from? Classical art could explain it to us.

1) The Composite Pose

Whether you’re looking on your left or right, as long as your torso is facing the camera, you are actually doing the composite pose, which is inspired by the early Egyptians.

Pia Wurztbach can easily don this pose in her Instagram post, just like a true queen should.

This specific pose was first used by the Egyptians in the drawings found in their pyramids. They used to draw like this because it’s easier to sketch the human body when it’s viewed from the side.

2) The Odalisque Pose

The composite pose is far easier than this one, as this require more flexibility and more confidence from the model. Look at how Megan Young simmer in this photo.

A post shared by Megan Young (@meganbata) on

This seductive pose is called the odalisque. Meant originally for nude paintings, it was first used during the Renaissance era by painter Giorgionne in Sleeping Venus in 1510. The eroticism in this kind of works were only accepted during those times because they were depicting a goddess. However, things changed during the 18th century when it was first used to depict an ordinary woman instead of a deity.

Do you have the goddess-like aura to do the odalisque pose?

3) The Contrapposto Pose

We all have that one friend who always says, “Bes, picturan mo ‘ko, kunwari stolen” (“Take a photo of me like it was a candid shot”).  Or maybe we are that friend but we’re just too shy to admit. Like in this photo of Lovi Poe she posted in her Instagram account.

Who needs rescuing? Lifeguard Lovi reporting for duty. 😂 #BaywatchFeels

A post shared by Lovi Poe (@lovipoe) on

Do we really believe that she’s actually running around the beach with a big salbabida? Is she a lifeguard now?

Well, we really should not be ashamed of staging our poses, because when the Greeks did that in their old works — it resulted in art! Take the famous Michelangelo’s sculpture, David, as an example.

Like Lovi, David here was depicted as moving (see how his left leg is raised slightly) and looking far away, as if he’s gazing at something. If David is a real human and is living in the year 2018, he’d probably post this photo with #stolen, #candidshot, #nude, and #sizedoesntmatter.

Read Also: What ‘Gandarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad’ Says About Philippine Comedy

4) The Adlocutio Pose

After the blockbuster success of the movie Gandarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad, Vice Ganda posed with his fans in his Instagram photo posted last Christmas.

His finger is pointed upwards, as if pointing to the sky (maybe to subliminally said that the movie was a success). Now, though not a big movement, he’s probably pretending to be shouting and was captured by the camera — a contrapposto pose. With his fingers pointing somewhere as if commanding and a contrapposto, he is actually doing the adlocutio pose.

The adlocutio is a pose that signifies power and leadership. Look at this painting by Jacques Louis-David, Napoleon at the Great Saint Bernard.

Ain’t popularity and fame the new face of power these days?

5) The Serpentine Pose

If the composite pose requires you to twitch your body a little, the serpentine pose is about dramatic contortions of the upper and the lower body. It’s requires effort; thus, one should be aware whether he or she is getting weird with all the body twisting. Of course, Pia Wurztbach, again, didn’t disappoint.

@peopleasia ♥️

A post shared by Pia Wurtzbach (@piawurtzbach) on

With slender legs and a fair amount of confidence, anyone can do the serpentine pose. Just be mindful of your whole body.

This pose originated from the Hellenistic Greece masterpiece Laocoon and His Sons that was discovered in some Roman vineyard. The Westerners were amazed with the drama and sensuality of the body positions of the said sculpture.

6) The Pudica Pose

If the Odalisque pose shook the conservative in you, then be ready for the pudica pose, the inspiration of Marilyn Monroe’s Gone With The Wind shot (where wind blows up her skirt and she tries to cover her lower extremities, if you don’t know.) Because it is a stance too provocative for mere mortals, here is Lady Gaga in 2014 trying to imitate Botticelli’s Venus.

You need a VAST amount of confidence and hell of a good body to properly don this pose. Another example would be Ellen Adarna in her nude shots in a beach. However, you don’t need to go totally clotheless with this—the key is COVERING your nakedness (just like Marilyn Monroe).

Before you protest about explicitness, let classical art explain how this erotic pose came to life.

In Masaccio’s the Expulsion From Paradise, Eve is seen covering her womanhood with her hands. Somehow, this pose induces eroticism among men during that period. Several artworks, however, were also done with the same concept. Probably the most well-known is The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, where Venus is shown covering her body with long curls.

They always say that history repeats itself, and though not covertly shown, we are all imitating the masterpieces of the past.

Are you brave and creative enough to take the #Contrapposto, #Composite, #Odalisque, #Serpentine, and #Pudica challenge?

Lorhenz Lacsa

Lorhenz B. Lacsa is a human rights defender and an advocate of LGBT rights and mental health (in his own little ways). He is also a wannabe artist/writer. “Freak” is the word he always uses to describe himself.