“You Should Smile More… WTF”
I’ll be honest. I’m writing this short blog post because I had this experience that just shook me to my core, and I know I’m not the only one it happens to. In my profession, we get headshots done because- it’s professional. So, I was actually pretty happy with mine. I asked a group of fellow professionals what they thought of an online professional directory listing (NOT about the picture, mind you).
The response was interesting to say the least, but something really hit me. Mostly everyone took advantage to comment on my picture. People told me to crop out my body (I’m a beautiful plus size lady), people told me to smile and show my teeth, people told me I didn’t look genuine, uninviting… that they were terrible. OH MAN. My initial response was WTF?????!!!!!
The response that followed was not as independent sounding. I broke down. I started crying. Feeling like I wasn’t good enough. My trauma got triggered. After all, aren’t women supposed to be happy all the time? Getting masturbated on- SMILE. Getting raped- SMILE. Getting molested- SMILE. Getting kidnapped- SMILE.
WTF. WTF. WTF.
Some self disclosure:
I was bullied for being overweight, having short hair, and a snotty nose growing up.
I was molested at the age of 12.
I was groomed by an online predator and nearly kidnapped at the age of 15.
I wanted to kill myself at the age of 17.
I was drugged and raped at the age of 20.
Shall I go on? Now, I am genuinely happy, own my own business, and kick ass when I put my mind to it. I have a beautiful husband, and family. I love Disneyland, taking long walks on the beach (lol), and sitting on my butt watching whatever random show Netflix has recommended. I have gone to therapy, and I continue to go to work through the effects of these devastating traumas to my life. I also feel genuine as fuck.
So forgive me, if I don’t want to smile. And if you ever meet me, I won’t ever tell you to smile because sometimes- there’s no reason to.
Be yourself- even if yourself makes other people uncomfortable. Enjoy some pictures of me- not smiling.