I remember once upon a time while my IG account was in its infant years, someone asked me why I never smile in photos. Depending on how I felt that day my answer varied from “some photographers don’t tell me to smile” to “honestly, I don’t like my smile that much”. But I’ll have you know, both phrases are equally true.

Mouthless – Photo by: Joon Joseph

I get it, the first phrase I say “some photographers don’t tell me to smile” are going for a look – dark/ edgy/ moody/ serious/ gives the feels/ speak with your eyes – type of vibe. I feel like the second you add a smile the vibes are – happy/ vibrant/ cute girl next door/ kinda innocent/ not as serious. So in this case “not smiling” is really going for that model look you see in magazines or other portrait photos.

Wispy – Photo by: Joon Joseph

Now to tackle the second phrase “I don’t like my smile that much”. I blame the dislike on my smile because of braces. Yes my teeth are now straight and I am grateful for that, but my smile is different. I feel like a normal smile is one that looks like a sideways crescent moon on your face – you know, the kind where you get the two little points at the corners of your mouth. But my smile is rounded at the end and I don’t have those little points (call me picky but who isn’t about their own features). For the LONGEST time I hated it. My theory to not having those rounded points at the corner of my mouth was due to the brackets. When I had braces and I had to smile my mouth would try to smile around the brackets so over time my body got used to that.

Tiny Pout – Photo by Joon Joseph

Before this whole blog post becomes an entire rant on how I hate my smile, things actually turned around for me. It took a lot of time, tolerance and encouragement but now I actually like it because it’s different. To me it’s amazing what a little kindness can really do for a person. If I could go back in time I would tell my younger self to be happier with her features, and that she didn’t need outside encouragement to let her know that her smile was beautiful (but it was very helpful, and I do appreciate it).

The Cute Smile – Photo by Joon Joseph

Part of growing up and self development or even self love, is growing to love the features you have and to stop focusing on what you don’t have. In my case it also helped to stop wanting what others may have because it’s important to remember that there might be something you have that others might want. Its this type of thought that has really helped me learn to love my smile and now I’m grateful for it.

If you, the reader, is feeling this sort of way let it also be your smile, maybe your eyes or any general body part you “hate”. Let me tell you right now that this so called “hate” is just in your mind. I understand that you are your own hardest critic, but don’t let that be on your body! Love your features because loving yourself and what you have is its own special type of vibe, and it really shows.

Happiest Moment – Photo by Joon Joseph

Once again thanks for reading ❤ – MI

All the photos used on my blog post were taken by my friend @joonjoseph. He’s a great photographer and videographer, I encourage you to check out his work!