This is lovely. I am glad Audrey said this. She was always beautiful and wise. It’s not the most important thing in the world to be pretty. It can open many doors, but it can also close them for you. And though many people might long to be pretty or handsome they would probably prefer to be happy.
As I get older I know I am trading my youthful looks for happiness and I wouldn’t want to go back. Where I find a photo of me that I dislike it’s always one where I am not smiling. I find myself examining flaws. In the photos where I am grinning from ear to ear, I see shining eyes and a lopsided smile but I can’t help react to the smile, even if it’s only on paper. We are preprogrammed to like smiles.
Someone at University once told me this truth also; the best beauty secret is a smile. I’ve seen it in reverse also, where I was feeling really down and went to a party. I might as well have had a sign on my forehead saying ‘Avoid this woman. Save yourself’. How many excuses are there to move away? I learned a few that night.
I have done a lot of online dating since my marriage broke up and when you sift through hundreds of faces looking to see who you might be attracted to, the smile is the most important factor. There can be three of four photos of someone who is not smiling and I wonder if they are ashamed of their teeth or if its their serious personality shining through.
So why are we attracted to the people who are smiling? Why do we find them ‘prettier’? If we are all looking for acceptance then someone smiling has either accepted themselves and are happy at this point so are more likely to accept you or they smile at you with instant acceptance, which is the nicest feeling. Smiling is universal – every race and culture on earth recognises a smile. If someone is smiling one can assume they are radiating good energy at that point, so that’s another reason to be attracted and find them prettier. It would draw you close.
I smile a lot and I mean a LOT. I am smiling now. I read a business book recently where a shoe company preferred to employ people like me and then described us as ‘Whack jobs’. Fantastic! I love that description. I’d rather be the crazy in the loony bin with the big smile. As Dudley Moore said in the movie Arthur, “sometimes I just think funny things”. I find life pretty funny if you look at it in a certain way. The things we do are funny. Comedians have endless fodder in the everyday.
At 16 I first learned this lesson. I met a girl who was unattractive by most rules. And yet she was fighting the boys off. It’s common knowledge that people will be attracted by looks but hang around only if there is personality to go with it. And sometimes the best looking ones don’t always have personality because they haven’t had to develop any in order to attract admirers. The truth is that personality really is the best attractor or the one that brings people together anyway.
So I will continue being a whack job. I will keep collecting those wrinkles and if I can throw in some laughter too all the better. Just find what you enjoy on YouTube (try this – thanks Yaz’s commenter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBb8tx5S8x8) and use it like beauty treatment. We are all stunning!!
PS On TED.com I learned about an experiment where people had to hold a pencil in their mouths which simulated smiling by using the same muscles. By measuring their saliva they could tell that doing this fake smile lowered stress levels. Imagine what a real smile would do! Smiling yet?