Smize–the smile with your eyes–is a neologism coined by Tyra Banks in 2009 when attempting to describe a look to contestants on America’s Next Top Model. Like all Tyraspeak, smize has waxed and waned in popularity (even in the last couple months–in March we thought about blogging about it, but it seemed like it was on the way out), but now it seems like smize has become part of our vocabulary–and it should become part of your smiling repertoire. You just need to know when to pull it out.
How to Smize
The important thing about the smize is that it combines elements of the Duchenne smile with something less than a full smile with the mouth. Here’s how to pull it off.
- Relax: Tyra says the first step in smizing is relaxing your facial muscles. You have to feel happy to make the smize genuine.
- Focus: Open your eyes wide and focus them intently on your target, usually a camera, but it may also be a person. This engages the eye muscles that are crucial to the Duchenne smile.
- Smile: Yeah, a real smile is part of the smize. But it should be a slight, closed-lip smile. This is easiest for people who have a commissure smile (one that raises at the corners first). People who have a cuspid smile (one that raises in the middle first) might have more trouble creating the right look.
- Position: The smize is also about the position of your head, neck and shoulders. Elongate your neck by pulling your shoulders down and imagining your head is being pulled up by a string.
Practice these both in the mirror and with friends until you are confident in your smize. Then it’s time to take this show on the road.
When to Smize
A smize is not an everyday expression. It’s got its own special time and place to be used. Here are some occasions when you should be smizing.
The Red Carpet: As J-Lo demonstrated at the Latin American Music Awards, you need to master three expressions to make a great impression on arrival: the smile, the smoulder, and, yeah, the smize.
Selfies: Need something to alternate with your perfect pout? Smizing fits the bill–it helps you look model-worthy in all your selfies.
Professional Pictures: It’s a misconception that the smize is only suited for models and celebrities. Professionals need an expression that is both approachable and serious, and the smize is essential for this. Real estate agents, bankers, lawyers, and leaders all need a smize.
Frenemies and Other Adversaries: Sometimes you need to express displeasure or intensity when a smile is necessary. Smizing lets you look fierce (sorry, more Tyraspeak) while meeting the social niceties.
When you look at these occasions, it’s clear that we all need a smize–whether it’s for where you are or where you want to be–as well as an attractive smile.
If you are looking for help getting the perfect smile to offset your smize, please call (310) 275-5325 for an appointment with a Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist at Ravon Knopf today.