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Amelia Shepherd’s Superhero Pose: Does it Work?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been binge watching Grey’s Anatomy, a show loved by many across America. I just recently got all caught up to the new season, but I can count the most memorable episodes of the 14 seasons on one hand. Of course, on that list is Derek’s death, the dreadful plane crash, and George’s death, but after all the loss, Amelia Shepherd surprised me with some life wisdom…the superhero pose. 

In episode 14 of season 11, before a huge surgery, Dr. Stephanie Edwards walks into the scrub room to Amelia standing like a superhero: chin up, chest out, hands on hips, legs hip length apart on the ground. Edwards asks Shepherd what she is doing and Shepherd responds “I’m being a superhero. There’s a scientific study that shows that if you stand like this in superhero pose for just five minutes before a job interview or a big presentation or a really hard task, you will not only feel more confident, you will perform immeasurably better.” This idea carries through the seasons after it, and every now and again Shonda Rhimes shows Amelia standing with interns or nurses or other doctors using this pose before a new surgery. 

via https://tvsourcemagazine.com/2015/03/greys-anatomy-recap-the-distance/

I was intrigued by this so-called “superhero pose,” so I went on google and it is, in fact, a real study Amelia is citing which was done at Harvard in 2012. Turns out, if you stand in superhero pose for five minutes before a hard task you will perform better. 

So, with that information, I decided to try it out. It turned out the following week I had two interviews for leadership positions around campus and I figured that morning was the perfect time to try out the superhero pose hypothesis.  That Thursday morning, I woke up bright and early and with 5 minutes to spare after I got ready. I stood in the center of dorm room staring out of the window over-looking the Mass Pike and stood like Amelia Shepherd. 

I went about my interviews that day and did walk out of them both with a smile; I’m still waiting for responses but I definitely felt like I did my best. Now, I don’t know if my success is to be placed all on meditating for five minutes that morning, but the superhero pose did help boost my confidence and put a pep in my step that day. 

Every now and again I catch myself unconsciously standing in superhero pose when I’m anxious just to calm my nerves. I have been telling everyone about Amelia Shepherd and I’m doing the same thing right now; go try out the superhero pose Dr. Shepherd uses…you will be surprised at how it can boost your mood. 


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Delanie is a senior at Boston University who loves Pavement's iced tea and the Charles River. She has a passion for writing and is on an adventure to find the best coffee shop in Boston. 
Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.