One of the grands sent a self-portrait she created for art class. The top half of the portrait shows her hair parted in the middle with one of her signature hairbows perched on the side of her head. Her big brown eyes peer through her glasses.
The bottom half of the self-portrait is a bright blue facemask with colorful flowers, cheerful like she is. It is a clever art project; the facemask is an overlay. The mask is removable, but we received her picture with the mask on. Such a sensible child, protecting her grandparents.
Her eyes look a touch bewildered. Who hasn't looked a touch bewildered in recent months? Fortunately, I think I know what the problem is. The child needs to work on her smize.
Fashion model Tyra Banks coined the term "smize" several years ago. A smize is a combination of smile and eyes; meaning to smile with your eyes. Models can make their eyes smile without moving their mouths. Of course, models can also pound concrete in stilettos.
Smizing is big right now. It's hard to convey friendliness when the smiling half of your face is covered. Restaurants are coaching wait staffs to perfect the smize behind facemasks and retailers are coaching sales staffs.
Two exercises can help improve your smize. First, practice crinkling your eyes.
Go ahead, try it. Hold your mouth still and squint so your eyes crinkle.
No. That looks like you need you find your reading glasses.
Try it again.
No, not that either. That looks like you just took off your sunglasses and are waiting for your eyes to adjust.