Posted by Janna
This lovely girl at left is Rowan Blanchard, a fourteen-year-old actress from a current Disney Channel show.
I saw last night that, according to an article on HuffPost Women, she gets a lot of flack from media and fans for not smiling more often. She has in response made a statement, simply saying, she’ll smile when she wants to!
I get it. Because why is a smile the obligation? Who is that important to, and for what reason?
My two daughters — just a bit younger than Miss Blanchard — have close-lipped, sweet smiles. And every fall, every year, the school picture photographers require that they bear their teeth for the camera, which is not natural for either of them on command. They end up feeling self-conscious, then unhappy with their pictures, and every year I resent those photographers for accepting nothing short of a huge, unrealistic expression based on what I can only assume are rote and rigid ideals, which don’t at all capture my girls in the way they want remembered. Again, for what reason?
Why can’t children — those in the public eye — everyone — choose for themselves when to smile and how?