Smile like you mean it

I’ve done it, you’ve done it, the fake smile. It’s the one where your too dry lips stretch across grainy teeth into a weird open parenthesis and dash line  )—(

ya, that’s the one. You’ve got dead eyes and no one is fooled by your fake smile. For me the fake smile got entrench about grade 5. It is a hideous school photo that my mom still has. I felt weird and fat and self concious and when the photographer said “smile” I stretched those lips into a caricature of a smile. My mom calls it “the face”. You always make “the face” when you get your picture done. I hated having my picture taken, I wanted to crawl out of my skin and into a hole forever.

To overcompensate I became the asshole who ruins the nice pictures. Rabbit ears, wedgies and general silliness are captured for almost 30 years after that. No good pictures. None.

I refused to have a photographer at my wedding so now I have a collection of lovingly taken but not so well executed snapshots.
I guest blogged about boudoir photos and plastic guitars last week at fit, feminist and (nearly) fifty about my new commitment to having great photos taken. I think the key to great photos and just having a great day is to smile like you mean it.

IF you haven’t smiled like you mean it in a long time I recommend the following.

Grab a baby (with appropriate permission) and make faces at the baby. When the baby smiles, you’ll smile, that stupid-from-deep-down-in-your-carebear-centre smile. That is the genuine smile that melts hearts and feels awesome.

If no one will let you hold their baby (you are an asshole after all) or your smile is actually so stiff and terrifying it will traumatize them just watch this video. Be by yourself, trust me it works:

Now practice your smile like you mean it on your beloved, your kids then stretch to smile at your friends, your co-workers. Next thing you know you will be beaming awesomeness all over the place and people will respond to you much better, they may even learn to smile back. How crazy is that?