Apparently, It’s World Smile Day, originated by Harvey Ball, the commercial artist who came up with the ubiquitous smiley face in the 1960s. Perhaps Mr. Ball wasn’t a fan of Shakespeare: That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain. – Hamlet.
I’m not a fan of Mr. Ball’s smiley face, I’ve always hated that damn thing, and I’ve had a lifetime of seeing it everywhere, and it’s all over the bloody net, too. Give me Kilroy any day. As a girl, and a woman, I’ve been subjected to the “smile!” command my whole life, from those I know, and perfect strangers. You can’t go anywhere without getting that obnoxious command from someone, usually a man.
Smiles don’t necessarily mean one damn thing, especially as so many of us are expected to fake smile throughout the day no matter what. Out in public, you can rarely be lost in your thoughts without hearing “smile!” or “it can’t be that bad, smile!” Kindness, courtesy, and thoughtfulness can easily take place without a smile, as well as with one. If you have a genuine reason to smile, by all means, do so, but do we really need a smile command day?
As Shakespeare noted so long ago, a smile can easily mask villainy of all kinds. Those looking to con someone are known for their easy smiles. And so on. I also have little use for making shit like this a “day”. Great, so you’re gonna smile your way through this day, then what? Go back to being an asshole the other 364? Screw smiling. If you want to make a difference, work on small kindnesses whenever you’re out and about, if you can manage them, with or without the smile. That will stretch further, and have a good chain effect, rather than a bunch of people being smiley because it’s an ‘official day’. All this crap does is promote the artificial smile, and makes people think it’s perfectly okay to keep on with the “smile!” command aimed at people they don’t know. Please, don’t do that, and if someone is not smiling, perhaps they have reason not to do so, and refraining from insisting on a smile would be a small act of kindness.
Note: Anyone who decides it would be clever to pepper a comment with smiley faces will most likely find it edited.