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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Smile

You tell me to smile and I twitch up the corners of my mouth. Not a lot, just enough. The dimple on my left cheek is barely dented. My lips are tightly pursed. Caught from the wrong angle it looks like a smirk. This is my smile.

It is a smile that folds inward onto itself and me. It is a smile that protects me from anyone watching. From engaging. And sometimes, from really feeling.

It is a reluctant smile. The one I give when I am asked or expected to smile. The one you will see when I am tired or when I reply I'm fine in answer to your question.

The smile is mine from the six years I spent hiding my braces as a teenager. When nothing seemed worth being happy about anyway. When a smile seemed like cheap currency to buy me freedom from further inspection. It served me well. I kept it.

I never thought about my smile. It just was. In moments of pure joy my smile would expand naturally until it stretched across my entire face. My lips would part slightly and a glimpse of my teeth would be visible. Then, just as suddenly, my mouth would close and my smile would return to normal. Back to a smile that didn't give away too much of me.

I am learning a new smile. I have to remember to use it. I practice it when I am told. For this smile I bare my teeth like a mare at market. All three of my dimples become concave. My mouth is wide. It feels completely unnatural to the unused muscles around my mouth, but I do it.

I like this new smile.

Thank you to Anna from Anna Epp Photography and Beach Mama for this beautiful photo. I love it.

16 comments:

  1. I saw this pic over on BeachMama's blog and could not get over how incredibly gorgeous you look. Your full smile is seriously dazzling. I'm looking forward to seeing it a lot more often!

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  2. You look so beautiful. Definitely a great picture and a great smile, and I hope you use it a lot more often now. Smiling back at you :)

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  3. Oh goodness you have a beautiful smile! Fantastic picture.

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  4. It's a beautiful smile, I'm glad you can be reminded to use it :) And those are gorgeous teeth! six years of work wroth showing off as much as possible!

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  5. This is a wonderful picture! Smile mama!

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  6. Thanks for all the kind words everyone. I clean up good. :-)

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  7. Corners of the mouth up for the full expression...it's corny but it does get some people to smile...your photo is gorgeous!

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  8. you're beautiful, indeed.

    funny how the braces leave their mark on us even after the teeth are damned lovely.

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  9. I love love LOVE that photo! You look absolutely radiant!

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  10. stunning.

    keep smiling. it makes others smile too.

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  11. Just beautiful! LOVE the smile! I am a very smiley person myself, so it's hard to understand the "frowners" or "smirkers". I must admit that I usually just assume that they are cranky or unhappy or just not friendly. Thanks for reminding me not to judge a book by its cover... the reasons may be much deeper than that. Keep smiling - you look fabulous!

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