Have you ever heard that Black women don't smile enough? It's a common complaint that I have heard online along with the other criticisms about us (I don't think Black men smile enough either). I admit, I don't think I smile enough. In the past I didn't smile often because I was just unhappy most of the time. I also avoided smiling out of fear that men I passed would think I was interested in them when I was not.
As part of my journey to become an Elegant Black Woman (EBW) I am going to smile more! I have been doing it for the past week, not a full toothy grin, but just a slight raise of the corners of my mouth. This looks much better than my relaxed face. In fact, I feel less tension around my eyes and forehead when I smile this way. My whole face feels somehow lighter. Plus, when I see people and they smile it is easier for me to smile back because my face is not locked in a frown. When I'm by myself and smiling I find myself laughing more and my mood is actually more positive. You get a warm, satisfied feeling when you have a slight grin. It really does have an effect on others because my coworkers have all asked me if something good happened or if I met a guy because I look so content!
Here are the main benefits of smiling that have been supported by research:
- Smiling will improve your physical attractiveness. You will look more attractive, your face will be lifted, and you will look younger. You will look like a happy, confident, successful person.
- Smiling will improve your social life. Other people will smile back at you. People are attracted to happy people and the smile on your face will tell them that you are happy.
- Smiling improves your mood. Smiling is incompatible with negative thoughts and positive thoughts tend to pop into your head when you smile. Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin that help your body and brain to feel happy. These natural chemicals will also help you to feel less stressed.
- Smiling is good for your health. Smiling boosts your immune system that protects you against illnesses. Smiling has been shown to reduce blood pressure and induce relaxation. Studies have shown that optimistic people (who tend to smile) live longer.
For a while I was reading jokes online so that I could tell them to my friends. I haven't done that in a while but I want to start again. I will have a laugh and I can lighten the mood in social settings. I suppose it's not ladylike to tell sex jokes, so I will just enjoy them and keep them to myself ;) Really, I need to take myself and life less seriously, it hasn't helped me at all to do otherwise!