Friday, May 29, 2009

Say cheese!

I have one friend who like me is not a big smiler -- our faces don’t naturally assume an expression that includes a smile. Jokes will make as laugh, exchanging looks with one another as a response to something, but our standard face lacks an upside curve. This doesn’t mean we walk around with a scowl, though sometimes I think maybe that is the case, especially when I hear other guys call out to me to smile. Maybe my mind can’t control my facial features as I’m sucked in a daydream or thought while carrying on in public.

These remarks to "Smile!" remind me of a tenth grade National Honors Society initiation ceremony I sat in at my high school. The already members described introduced each new scholar young man or woman by noting his/her achievements, academic or otherwise and without fail, all the young women were noted at some point for their smile. Who cares? Why make a point of the girls smiling? I don’t remember one high school male scholar described as having a radiant smile, or any kind of smile. I don’t remember the male scholars being described in uniform as having one characteristic that wasn’t used to describe the female scholars for that matter, though this did happen some time ago. The fact I had heard comments up until that ceremony questioning my own deadpan expression likely made me more primed to hear the ‘smile’ comments.

Back in high school I was asked at times why I don’t smile, and sometimes I’d pick on George Harrison’s quote to the same question and say, “I’ll hurt my lip.” I don’t understand the difference in expectations between men and women. Women, if you don’t want to go out of your way to smile, I support you.

No comments: