Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On smiling

Brooch: mom | Dress: Loft Outlet | Belt: off a skirt from Kohl's | Wedges: Target
Eleven of thirty

This dress in, pink cardigan out. A smart move, I think. I hope. Though now that I think about it, this is the third blue dress in my 30x30. OH WELL!

Can we talk for a second about my smile? I've been meaning to address this topic for a while now, at least ever since I received a comment on this here post that I looked "terminally unhappy". My responding comment sums up how I feel about what the commenter said, but this comment is a drop in the bucket compared to the plethora of comments I've received in life that I look miserable, I should smile more, that I need to cheer up, etc. So I'd like to respond to everyone telling me what to do with my own body by saying please, leave my smile alone. I get it. I have a style blog, I'm supposed to frolic blissfully in fields with my attractive photographer husband and two small dogs until I decide to work on my style book/boutique/flower business or some bullshit like that, but that's not who I am or how I live my life. If I run off a potential reader because I'm not smiling, well, I can think of worse reasons for them to be run off. Like my sense of style. Since that's what Animated Cardigan is actually about.

My smile and I have been at odds for a very long time--ever since I was kindly notified that I have what my bff A. and I now refer to as my "freakishly small teeth". And they really are, and I'm cool with that. But I don't have the personality to make a wide, toothy grin seem authentic. But apparently, even when I do smile (I normally smile with my lips closed, but I'm training myself into a top-teeth-only smile like the one above) I get comments that I don't look happy. I'm letting everyone in on a big secret: this is just my face. The picture above, on the right? Just my face when the muscles are at rest. My mouth is simply physically incapable of my looking like a freakish clown or the happiest doll child ever when I smile, and I resent the fact that anyone should tell me to do so. It actually makes me far less likely to smile, and then everyone's unhappy because no one wins when I give the Stone Cold Face of Mean.

My coworker D. once got in trouble at another job because a customer claimed she was offended by D. since D. "didn't smile". I've been reverse cat called on boardwalks and in streets that I'm so beautiful, but why don't I smile? Perhaps it is because I am "terminally unhappy" (I have, in fact, been there and done that so forgive me my mild sensitivity to that off-handed remark). Perhaps I just had to put my cat down. Perhaps I was just laid off. Perhaps I want to set my ex's car on fire. The insinuation, out of the blue--or even while we're in the middle of discussing it--that I look unhappy, without knowing any of the internal makeup of today's scowl, is not only unfair, but it is also rude and degrading. Just as with any other public comment on appearance, other people usually hear, and other people usually look. If you were desperate enough to spend time looking through the AC archives, you'd notice that since the comment I mentioned above, I've smiled--or what I think is smiling--in nearly every post. Because now I know that other people are looking, and apparently I have to look happy, even when I'm fucking miserable, because god forbid anyone should let their facial muscles relax around these parts. If that's what's stopping me from having 3000 followers, well, I'll frown all damn day to keep the attitudes at bay.

Coming tomorrow: an equally witty diatribe on feet and WHY ARE THEY SO UGLY????*

*Just kidding, it's going to be about elbows.

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