This week the Alexander Technique got seriously trendy. Well, we got an article in OK! magazine, telling us that some seriously trendy people have Alexander lessons.
If you’ve never read OK!(*), it’s one of a clutch of celebrity gossip magazines. Lots of photos, interviews and articles on how famous people dress, eat, exercise, party, etc. An unlikely place for the Alexander Technique to pop up, but the article does a pretty good job of covering how the Technique works, and what the benefits are.
They have the usual things like reducing pain, tension and anxiety. They also have the things that are usually mentioned when people talk about acting – moving with better co-ordination, being more centred, and better vocal control. Which makes sense when you consider the list of celebrity examples:-
Victoria Beckham (allegedly)
But we also have another reason that doesn’t usually come up. Looking better. It’s an interesting point the article makes. These celebrities are “under considerably more scrutiny than the rest of us”, so they will put in the time and effort to improve their appearance. And if it means Alexander lessons, that’s what they do.
In fact, the alleged reason Victoria Beckham allegedly took lessons (this is from ‘a spy’ – I did warn you it’s gossip!) was because she saw an unflattering photo of herself.
We can have a bit of a chuckle at the vanity of famous people, or bemoan the paparazzi culture that makes it necessary to be so careful. But most of us are quietly rather concerned with our appearance in some way. So although we might take Alexander lessons for a serious reason, how many of us would be attracted by something from this list?
Less rounded shoulders
Looking younger, in face and in physique
That last bit, about looking younger, is mine. The rest come from the OK! article, but I agree with them all. I’ve seen them, time and time again in students. I’ve experienced some of them myself. It’s all part of the package you get when you learn the Alexander Technique.
Let’s be honest, would you turn these down?
(*) If you want to read the article, it’s in Issue 872, April 2 2013.