2012 Academy Awards Musings

On the red carpet, actress Maya Rudolph shared her Oscar advice with Tim Gunn, “have good posture. Stand up straight, shoulders back.” Sage advice for anyone, whether posing in your Academy Awards finery or giving a presentation to clients. Good posture communicates confidence and makes you look more elegant and self-possessed.

More wise words came from Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez when they quoted famed designer, Edith Head; “a dress should be tight enough to show you’re a woman, but loose enough to show you’re a lady.” However, Jennifer’s wide v-neck seemed to be a bit too revealing. Some, me included, thought they saw a wardrobe malfunction when she was presenting an award with Cameron. Showing some cleavage is appropriate, but leave something to the imagination.

And was it just my eyes, or did I see Cameron chewing gum when she was interviewed on the red carpet? It looked like she had it tucked in the side of her mouth. All I can say is no! Gum is not attractive. Next time, Cameron, dump the gum.

I was happy to hear the Academy Awards was bringing Billy Crystal back as the host. However, I felt mixed about his performance. On the one hand, I loved his ease and poise. Billy seems comfortable with himself and he’s very likeable. He had some funny moments – the Wizard of Oz focus group skit was amusing and I thought the bit about what the stars were thinking was mostly humorous.

That said, he made a few hurtful comments that I didn’t think were appropriate. His comment about Jonah Hill’s weight was rude, and he said a few things that seemed racist. It’s not necessary or in good taste to ever say mean-spirited things. There are so many ways to be funny without being mean.

On the positive side, I loved Christopher Plummer’s acceptance speech. He was poised, funny and instead of reciting a list of people to thank in one long sentence he said something about each person he thanked. It made for an interesting and creative speech. He also acknowledged his fellow nominees, always a graceful gesture.

I always enjoy the Academy Awards and there continue to be lessons we can take away from the show. What did you think of this year’s show? What faux pas and good behavior did you witness?


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Arden Clise is founder and president of Clise Etiquette. Her love for business etiquette began in previous jobs when she was frequently asked for etiquette, public speaking and business attire advice by executives and board members. The passion for etiquette took hold and compelled Arden to start a consulting business to help others. Read more >>

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