What your walk says about you
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Intro_v011 of 7
The Ballerina2 of 7
I remember starting middle school and noticing that all the girls had become these tall, graceful creatures, while my guy friends and I were still running into walls and tripping over backpacks. With only minor changes, that's still how it feels to be a grown-up. The Ballerina is most visible at street corners, where a woman will lightly leap to the curb, her foot perfectly extended. This walk looks subconscious, or so practiced that it's second nature—all of which makes me think the woman is, well, happy. Confident.
The Wiggle3 of 7
This is a walk I find very appealing, mostly because it's so clearly different from how men walk. Its femininity is timeless. It can, of course, veer into parody, but I'm a bad judge of that. Because this walk is so unnatural to guys, and because it so naturally shows off multiple body parts we like, we're suspicious. On multiple occasions, I've mentioned somebody's exaggerated Wiggle only to be told that it's "just how she walks" or "you try walking in those shoes." Honestly, the ambiguity is part of the allure. Does she naturally move that way, or is it for me? Either answer is good news.
The Swagger4 of 7
The difference between The Wiggle and The Swagger is audience. The Wiggle, like it or not, is for the male gaze; The Swagger, while technically pretty similar, is for no one but the walker herself. The Wiggle says, "Hey boys, I know what you want." The Swagger says, "I know what I want." The torso and shoulders are relaxed. The arms are doing whatever. The result, like all relaxed confidence, is extremely appealing. After all, it's impossible for guys to know what women want. This walk makes me think that she'll just tell me.
The Drill Sergeant5 of 7
You see this all the time around New York City, where I live, but there are subtle variations based on the time of day—women striding with an urgent purpose on the way to work at 8:45AM have a different vibe than women who want to look like they know exactly where they're going at 7PM. Both often carry an iPhone like it's a small pistol: at their side and ready to be put to use at a moment's notice, so go ahead—make her day.
The Meander6 of 7
You worry about a woman like this—that she'll get run over in the street, or that you'll fall for her and then she'll run over your heart. Not because she meant to, but because her mind wandered, and the rest of her followed. From afar, it's nice to observe The Meander-er. She's usually grinning, as if she just got the world's cutest text. But due to my well-honed rejection-aversion reflex, I'm not drawn to a woman who walks like this: It's a walk that says, "I'm deeply attracted... to someone else."
The Runway7 of 7
It's very unusual to see this in the real world, though you may occasionally encounter its cousin, The I-Just-Got-Turned-Away-From-a-Club Walk. But those tantrum strides don't tell you much, except that a girl has a bad fake ID, or that the club is definitely too cool for you to get into. The Runway walk is oddly sexless. Not that it's not sex-y, just that there's a detachment to it. Maybe it's the stiff posture of the back and neck, but this walk can look very dehumanized. There's a reason it's mostly used in the fashion world—it's about the clothes, not the woman walking in them.