Nana Gouvêa is a modelactress-ish entity originally from Brazil who now resides with her husband in Manhattan. After Sandy devastated the city, Gouvêa and her husband ventured outdoors to document the destruction and to prove that there’s one thing killer storm surges can never wash away: raw sex appeal.
The resulting photoshoot quickly went viral, with many questioning the tastefulness of a disasterporn photospread. (Gouvêa also became a meme, as images of her posing were quickly Photoshopped against backdrops of other tragedies.)
Now, inspired by one woman’s admirable commitment to being photographed all the time, always, no matter what, we present:
The Gawker Guide to Posing for Glamour Shots in the Aftermath of a Natural Disaster
Tip 1: Destroyed Though It May Be, the World Is Your Prop
Walk around your neighborhood to find an image of gross devastation. Position yourself within it alluringly. Is that a dingy 1991 Honda Accord or a sleek Jaguar XKR with matte paint finish? Are those the downed limbs of uprooted trees, or pockets of lush greenery inside a tropical rain forest, over which you reign, as princess?
Tip 2: The City Needs a Sexy Hero. That Sexy Hero is You.
In the wake of a natural disaster, lots of people will be distraught. Maybe they’ve been without power for days, maybe they haven’t been able to check in with family members, maybe they even know someone who’s lost his or her life. What they need now is an image of hope, defiant in the face of tragedy. On September 11th, it was firefighters raising the flag above the rubble of the World Trade Center. Maybe now it’s you, striking a fierce diva pose in front of a Budget rental truck.
Bonus Tip: Swap your steely gaze for a pout and you look like the one responsible for the chaos and carnage. Did someone say “Bad Girl?”
Tip 3: Even Sexy Heroes Feel Vulnerable Sometimes
On the flip side: don’t be afraid to affect a look of vulnerability—this is known as “showing your human side.” If you have never experienced weakness, because you are Strong, Sexy, and Confident, feign it by grasping your limbs in different combinations. Left hand grabs right elbow. Right knee hooks left leg. Left arm hugs left thigh to chest. Don’t worry about the face – that can be rearranged in Photoshop.
Bonus Tip: If the scene is lacking in drama, stuff a garbage can with brightly colored paper and overturn it in the background
Tip 4: Sometimes the Best Photos Are Candid
Often, the most stirring images are of unstaged moments, captured by a skilled photographer named Serendipity. Of course, only a fool would leave their glamour shots to chance. Fake a candid photo by meticulously posing yourself “mid-stride” in front of an uprooted tree or flaming school.
Tip 5: The Bigger the Background Objects, the Smaller You Look
That’s just science.
Tip 6: Have Fun With It
The turmoil following a devastating natural disaster is a great opportunity to get out there and try poses, angles, and wardrobe choices you normally wouldn’t. This is a time for introspection and re-examining your personal style. Also a great time to stomp all over cars and things. Get out there and Do You.
All images by Nana Gouvêa