A couple of weeks ago, Imelda Matt made this comment:
I reckon you’re the only blogger who smiles in the personal style pics and I loves it because your smile makes me smile.
First off, thanks, Imelda Matt. I adore you and intend to show up on your doorstep and demand pancakes someday soon. Second, although I know I’m not the ONLY one who gets all grinny in my outfit shots, but I have noticed that I’m in the minority. And I.M.’s comment made me ponder why I don’t perfect my pout.
Well, I’ve already mentioned that I’m fairly inept at serious-face, although several fine folks have disagreed. Regardless of my scowling skill level, I just don’t feel my best in photos unless I’m smiling. And that’s the main reason, of course.
But the auxilliary reason is this: I have always considered myself more enthusiastic than cool, more fun than fashionable. And that’s the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) I like it.* Additionally, I feel that being stylish is possible for any and every person. I mean hey, if I can do it, YOU can do it! I want to illustrate my belief that style is fun and personal and accessible, and I feel like a nice wide smile in my outfit shots is one of the most direct ways to convey that belief.
While a pouty face can be cooler and more attractive than a toothy grin, it can also make the observer feel removed, excluded, unwelcome. Sort of a, “This fashion is SERIOUS STUFF. If you were a member of the club, you’d know that … and be pouting, too” kind of deal. And I want everyone who stops by my little corner of the blogosphere to know – just by looking at me – that I’m enjoying myself. And, hopefully, conclude that exploring personal style can be fun for anyone at all!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I peer, mesmerized at images of Karla and Jane with their sensual pouts and half-smiles, and envy their ability to exude style and grace. I pore over magazine spreads, seeing the carefully crafted scowls of models and admiring their gorgeous detachment. I see the beauty and I feel the power. And I acknowledge that one reason I am drawn to fashion is its unattainable otherwordliness.
But in my own photos, I’d rather provide some counterpoint. Some welcoming reminders that fashion can be fun, style can be joyous, and that both are open to anyone curious enough to explore them. Like you, for instance.