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PEOPLE's Guide to Posing Like a Boss During Oscars Season

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Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty

With Sunday’s Oscars, the 2014 awards season reaches its climax. It’s been a long road, filled with a lot of celebrities posing with a lot of pictures with a lot of trophies.

But what’s the best way to pose with these awards? That’s where we come in.

In advance of the 2014 Academy Awards on Sunday, we suggest the many nominees take a gander at these tips, so they won’t be caught in a compromising position at the post-presentation podium.

Audrey Hepburn holds the Oscar she won for Roman Holiday in 1954
Ralph Morse/Life Magazine/Time & Life Pictures/Getty
Let’s begin with a little history lesson. Though it seems to us an ancient art form, the practice of posing with trophies wasn’t formally invented until the 1950s. (See this photo from the first Oscars ceremony for proof.) It took Audrey Hepburn at the 1954 Oscars to realize that it was possible for a star to hold his or her statuette in such a way that emphasized the iconic power of both actor and award. From there, a craft was born.

In the 60 years since, there have been as many ways to pose with an award as there are aspiring actors in Hollywood, but tradition proves you can never go wrong with one of these five standard poses:

The High-School Diploma

Elisabeth Moss poses in the press room during the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 12, 2014
Kevin Winter/Getty

The Waitress

Melissa Leo poses in the press room at the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 22, 2013
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

The Beer Can

Matthew McConaughey poses in the press room during the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 12, 2014
Kevin Winter/Getty

The Low-Hang

Amy Poehler poses in the press room during the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 12, 2014
Kevin Winter/Getty

The Baseball Bat

Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses in the press room at the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 22, 2013
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
But what happens if you win more than one? Well, then you’re basically forced to go with one standard move:

The Bellyful

Sandra Bullock poses in the press room at the 40th Annual People’s Choice Awards on January 8, 2014
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
It’s a tough one.

Walt Disney laughs while struggling to hold four Oscar statuettes simultaneously circa 1954
Hulton Archive/Getty
It’s never flattering.

Justin Timberlake poses in the press room at The 40th Annual People’s Choice Awards on January 8, 2014
Jason Merritt/Getty
And it almost always requires the help of a partner.

Adele attends the 54th Annual Grammy Awards Media Center on February 12, 2012
Steve Granitz/WireImage
But on the plus side, you can carry a whole lot of awards at once.

Taylor Swift drops one of her awards during the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards on January 31, 2010
Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty

But in general, you’ll never go wrong if you just have fun with it. If you’re feeling wacky, take these out for a spin:

The Rocky

Bryan Cranston poses in the press room during the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 12, 2014
Kevin Winter/Getty

The King Kong

Jared Leto attends the InStyle and Warner Bros. 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards Post-Party on January 12, 2014
Jason Merritt/Getty

The Happy Pallbearer

Robin Wright poses in the press room during the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 12, 2014
Kevin Winter/Getty

The Trade-up

Meryl Streep poses in the press room at the 84th Annual Academy Award on February 26, 2012
Jason Merritt/Getty

But when it comes to true weirdness, nothing comes close to Robert Downey Jr.

Yes, while we were all distracted by flying aliens and billion-dollar box-office receipts, Iron Man quietly became the best trophy-poser in the game to date. If you want to make a true impression on the photo line, you can’t go wrong stealing a few pages from RDJ’s book:

Robert Downey Jr. participates at the 39th Annual People’s Choice Awards on January 9, 2013
Albert L. Ortega/Getty(2); Christopher Polk/Getty(2)

Now that’s a poser who needs no guide.

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