Yea I’ve got it. The cold, vicious stare. The pursed lips. The straight cheeks, not being pushed into a smile from either side. And as I would walk the halls or streets around school, or sit idly in a meeting someone – without fail- would ask me what I was pissed about.
Well would you believe that I wasn’t really pissed about anything until you asked me that question. What you took to be fury in my eyes was my concentration. What you call pursed lips I call not talking. And I’m not smiling because I am not the Rollback Smiley, and nothing is amusing me at the moment.
Some beautiful people walk around all day looking all approachable and stuff, their mouths somehow always in a little natural smile. You might look at these people and feel instantly inclined to smile naturally back at them, ask them about the weather or simultaneously click your heels with joy as you pass each other.
Others walk around, perhaps looking a bit more serious but perfectly normal all the same. They just go about their business and their stoic faces (by which I mean, what they look like when they are not in conversation or expressing any particular emotion) just look mundane and fit right in.
And then there are people like me who, by some act of facial DNA, look like we want to kill someone in cold blood as we’re walking down the street. It’s a damn shame I tell you. I’m a perfectly nice person (most days). I would love to exchange a smile to warm someone’s heart, or engage in spontaneous conversation with someone. But alas, the natural positioning of my facial features when I’m not already engaged in conversation is not conducive to friend-making.
It’s not for my lack of trying. I admit, only slightly embarrassed, that I have actually tried to fight this natural falling of features. I remember that in college, after being asked too many times in a week or in life what I was supposedly angry about, I tried to change my face. I tried to present myself with a natural smile. It’s tricky business I tell you. You can’t actually look like you’re smiling. You have to make it look like your lips are just naturally always slightly turned up at the corners. Not too much, otherwise people can tell you’re trying. Not too little, well because then we come back to the issue we began with.
So anyway I actually practiced trying to find this look in the mirror (to be fair, I never pretended to be cool – in fact I’m quite the dork – so this really shouldn’t surprise you). I didn’t actually master it. It’s difficult work to make something look natural that isn’t. But I decided to try it out anyway. It only took about a week of fake-natural-smiling everywhere I went for me to decide looking approachable wasn’t worth feeling goofy and encouraging wrinkles.
And so, a year or two wiser I know I just have to accept that I have that kind of face. Since I’ve done my part I now turn to you: Try not to judge us killer-faced people. We know we look mean, and it’s quite saddening since really we’re just normal people who love rainbows and butterflies and 24/7 Rollback Smilies just as much as the next guy.