Other Smiles

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Happy New Year!

While I’m still imbued with hope and good intentions and philosophically lethargic after the holidays of non-stop socializing and eating (le detox from Juice Generation, order up), I figured I would wax poetic about photography and my New Year’s Resolutions.

Don’t get me wrong – I love smiles and happiness and a lovely smile on a lovely person is great. But I also don’t agree with all the heat bloggers were getting way back when for not smiling in photos. Who’s to say smiles are the only real way to show joy? I, for example, always feel fake when forced to pull back and bare my teeth just to make the other person secure in the thought that I am happy. My RBF is a perfect expression of my relaxed contentedness without the extra muscle exertion. Gorgeous smiles are wonderful, but I can’t help but feel that nowadays so many smiles are on-demand anytime we snap a picture or interact even. So here is a little photo study of other facial expressions that relay things a bit more complicated than joy, as shown by my baby brother, who is suddenly not such a baby anymore. Took the photos in, you guessed it, my favorite park, back when it was Christmas Day and nearly 70 (oh how I miss you now, tropical Christmas).

As for New Year’s Resolutions, aside from the realistic portrayal of people as discussed above, I recently read the life-changing magic of tidying up and it was truly transformative (and you should get it ASAP). As a hoarder with complex commitment issues, I’ve long wanted to clean up my room, de-clutter my life and so on, and this book was a great catalyst. As soon as I finished it (in a day) I threw out two bags of toiletries and makeup and several bags of just tops (those I donated, they were perfectly good clothes) and I’m still not done (just wait until I get my hands on my dorm room). Marie Kondo says to visualize your ideal life – I can’t wait until mine looks like a design magazine (or at least a west elm catalog).

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