“Smizing” when you don’t feel like it - Charles Chaplin’s “Smile” sung by Nat King Cole
As a little girl, whenever I was feeling blue, my mom would say, encouragingly, “If you smile on the outside, it’ll make you feel better on the inside.” I used to hate it when she said that, because I was just “perfectly fine,” stewing around in my personal snit. But as I grew older, I gradually tried following her suggestion. I learned that smiling in the mirror doesn’t work. You must actually smile at people. And, usually, they smile back. And, zing! You begin to feel better.
Coming home from church on Sundays, I listen to my favorite NPR game show, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” Last Sunday, Tyra Banks was their special guest. Along with being a super model, she is also a singer, actress, entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, and teacher. On the NPR show, they asked about her coining the word, “Smize.” Maybe a better spelling is, “Smeyes.” It means to smile with one’s eyes. In Tyra’s original definition, it means how a model can smile with her eyes without any expression on the rest of her face.
The word has popped up recently, because with so many of us wearing masks, we are literally unable to smile at one another. So I think we all need to learn the art of smizing. No supermodel rules here, though - you can be smiling with the rest of your face under your mask! Go practice it in the mirror and then take it on the road. We could all use a smile nowadays. And just see how it changes you on the inside.
Another thankyou to my mom - I was fortunate that she had an affection for the voice of Nat King Cole, and had several records which she played frequently on our old stereo cabinet record player. His unmatchable voice is etched indelibly in my mind, heart, and soul. There are several different recordings out there of Charlie Chaplin’s song, but to me, this is the best.
I love that this YouTube link gives a little history of the song, and also Nat King Cole.
Smile with your heart. We’ll get through this.