The Long-Lost Art of Smiling

benandsierra-25It struck me tonight that my generation has trouble with smiling. Yes. We do . I could flood this post with numerous pictures of frowning teenagers & young adults hopping onto that band wagon of taking perfect pictures with dramatic flare.

This is not a serious post. Simply satirical. And quite true. It is quite possible that people my age have quite forgotten the art of smiling. Oh and maybe we also have camera lens phobia. Which seems that in order for the picture to be a good one, we have to be staring off into the distance as a flaming sunset compliments our stare. Yeah. Basically, we don’t look at the camera lens. It’s a phobia. I think. Or some sort of weird generational thing. BUT if we do happen to look at the camera, we stare intently into it, forsaking all smiles.

I mean, how hard can it be! Just look at the camera….and smile. The more pictures I see, the more I am convinced that I’m just watching a stage drama in frozen intervals. I find this interesting, dramatic phenomena mostly in engagement pictures, wedding pictures, early pregnancy pictures, and even newborn baby pictures. Basically, all pictures.

Gotta have that dramatic pose, that uneasy stare, and oh my! The angle must be just right. And where are the editing settings?! Because a candid, unfiltered shot is NOT acceptable. And we must also have props. A good picture must have props. Did you remember to bring along the Indian blanket? That blanket, though.

Honestly, I’m laughing at my generation, because we are all out to produce the most dramatic, riveting, lovely, never-before- seen picture of us not looking at the camera and with (of course) frowns of all different shapes and sizes. {OK, I may be exaggerating this post a little…but I did warn you it was satirical in nature}

Can we not just post a picture of us looking at the camera and smiling?! NO, a duck face doesn’t count! For goodness sakes, our poor kids are going to look through our picture albums…errr…our smartphones and see picture after picture after picture of us frowning and being dramatic. It honestly makes me chuckle inside.

Future Child: “Hey, uh mom, why weren’t you smiling?! You got married to the man of your dreams!”

Me: “Oh honey, that’s just how it was back then. It was the “in” thing to take dramatic pictures on the happiest day of our lives. My, how strange we were back then. Are all the pictures of us frowning? I thought for sure we had a smiling one in there somewhere.”

Future Child: “Ah, they are mostly just dramatic, actually. (child, raises eyebrows, chuckles) You guys were so weird back in the day!”

Yes, dear people of my generation…just smile. It’s worth it. Inexpressible joy documented is far more precious than the dramatic stare & staged picture that we seem to obsess over so much. I’m all for fun, and/or dramatic pictures, but uh….could we get a smiling one in there SOMEWHERE. You know, just a thought. The camera lens won’t kill you and the editing settings don’t have to be perfect. At the end of it all, the picture will fade away and revert to dust anyhow.

I’m just saying, your future kids may want to see you smile and it’s OK if you just take run-of-the-mill pictures. I mean there isn’t a Picture-Judge Nazi. Just loosen up, for goodness sakes! And smile! I want to see my generation smile. Not every picture we take has to be dramatic and model-like. Let’s be a happy bunch of people who  often decide to look at the camera and smile.

After all, camera-lens phobia & dramatic poses will go out of style eventually. Smiles never will.

Smiles stay in style forever.

4 thoughts on “The Long-Lost Art of Smiling”

  1. […] Here’s the thing, I made sure that my guests knew they could take pictures at our wedding. I knew that some of them would be S C A R Y. And there were some scary ones taken!  One particular picture that I’ve seen makes me chuckle inside. I look nervous, my dress is crooked, and my overall appearance just screams discomfort. Which is laughable. Because I was a happy bride, thrilled to marry my best friend, and enjoying the ceremony without too many butterflies.  And I smile, because does it really matter that every picture be pristine and perfect? Not in my book. […]


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