Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Say Cheese! Your SMILE is the Best Accessory You Have!

Photo: Alan Cleaver, Creative Commons

What is a smile? Someone once wrote:
A smile costs nothing, but creates much good. It enriches those who receive it without impoverishing those who give it away. It happens in a flash, but the memory of it can last forever. No one is so rich that he can get along without it. No one is too poor to feel rich when receiving it. It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad and nature’s best anecdote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen.
This is why your smile is your best accessory. It doesn't cost you a thing (except maybe a few laugh lines which add character to your face) and brings so much joy to others! Two of the first entries I wrote when I started this blog about five years ago were on sharing your smile with others, no matter what your smile looks like. A broad genuine smile is always better than one you are trying to keep hidden because of self-consciousness. I feel deeply about this and therefore am re-posting some excerpts from those early blogs here:

Originally posted on March 20, 2009:

One of the things I collect (in addition to shoes) is quotes. I’ve been collecting a variety of quotes for ten years now, but only have about 325 of them because I am very selective in the ones I list in my notebook. Typically I don’t go out seeking these quotes, I let them find me. And I only make note of those that speak to me about the things I am either enjoying or struggling with in life at that time. Therefore, my list reads almost like a personal journal. I can look back at them and remember why I selected that quote at that particular time and reflect on what I was going through at that time. Along the way, I have found some quotes that relate to what I do in my business as an image consultant and personal stylist. These are ones that I think best describe my unique approach to fashion and style. I hope that, by sharing with you these quotes and my thoughts on them, you will see that both paNASH Style and Lori Bumgarner are about instilling confidence in people rather than being materialistic or judging others based on what they wear. I plan to share a new quote with you each week or as often as I have the time to blog. Some are deep, some are very matter-of-fact, and others are just plain funny. I hope you enjoy!

“People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile.” Lee Mildon

The best accessory you can wear is a smile, and I mean a genuine smile. A genuine smile is one where you are smiling not only with a toothy grin, but also with your eyes. It is very difficult to smile with your eyes if you are not giving a toothy grin. One of my pet peeves is pictures of people who don’t ever show their teeth when smiling for a snapshot. To me, this is a fake smile. These are the kind of smiles that are trying to hide something, even if it’s only something as small as a gap in their teeth or braces. When I was 12, I had braces, but that never stopped me from giving a big toothy grin for the camera. I declared at that time that the tin grin was in! I have known so many people who want to hide their teeth in pictures that they end up just looking kind of ridiculous because they are masking their true emotions in the moment. I remember seeing on television a show about a woman getting married. At the end of the show, they showed several of the photographer’s pictures from her wedding. There was not one picture of her with her teeth showing, and she didn’t have bad teeth! Of all days and all pictures being taken, these should have been the ones where she was smiling the biggest and the brightest. I understand that some people don’t like their teeth and it makes them self-conscious, but trust me when I say a genuine smile, with perfect teeth or no teeth, looks much better than an obviously contrived smile. So remember to don your best, most genuine smile, no matter where you are or who’s taking your picture! 

Originally posted on April 3, 2009

“Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.” – Janet Lane

For many of us, these are difficult economic times. Economic troubles and worries can seep into other areas of our lives if we allow them to, making us weary and downtrodden. That kind of distress is difficult to hide on our faces, which can negatively affect our success in our current career or in our job search. However, keeping a positive attitude and remaining hopeful can make all the difference in the world, bringing a light to our disposition. The best accessory you can wear is a smile. Do what you need to do to bring back your smile. Go for a walk or hike, volunteer in your community (helping others can make you feel better), reach out to an old friend. Doing those things will change your disposition and brighten your expression. The warmth you start to emanate from your smile will increase your success in all areas of your life.

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