The Thinker by Auguste Rodin, one of the most recognizable sculptures in Western Culture, is an example of really bad posture. I’ve added the skeleton to show that his rib cage sags and constricts his breathing. His lower back is rounded, which puts excessive, one sided, pressure on the intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine. His posture though, is not the worst I’ve seen. He doesn’t sit on his lower back like so many young people. He sits squarely on his sitting-bones or ischial turberosities.
Gwyneth Paltrow is a beautiful woman but tends to have swayback posture. In Duets, a marvelous movie combining multiple story lines with love and karaoke, Paltrow exaggerates her poor posture even more to portray a gawky, young innocent, who melts the heart of her long absent karaoke-hustler father, played by Huey Louis.
Lily Cole, an English model and actress, tends toward a rounded back.
This is approximately what my posture looked like before I realized that slouching had caused my chronic neck pain. Unfortunately, none of the many doctors or the four physical therapists I went to for help ever mentioned my poor posture as a possible cause of neck pain. One PT commented that my shoulder blades weren’t working right, but he didn’t say why and didn’t give me exercises to fix it. (Or maybe he did but I was clueless at the time. In my defense, I had a debilitating stomach illness, was in a lot of pain and my neck felt so weak I could barely make it to PT sessions. ) Regardless, I’m still amazed and disappointed that all these professionals could not help me, and that I had to find my own way. See fixtheneck.com