This I Believe

Amy - Ames, Iowa
Entered on November 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

A Gift For All

“You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” One of the catchy songs in the lively musical, Annie, this line applies to everyone, especially me. Who knew that changing one feature on your face could change your entire appearance, no matter what you’re wearing? I believe in the smile, the internationally understood mark of happiness.

A smile can represent so many different things. When you have outbursts of emotion, you just can’t hide it. The first time a boy asked me to dance, I couldn’t wipe the excited smile off my face for the next half hour. And the first time I rode the Millennium Force at Cedar Point, Ohio, the adrenaline rush made me smile throughout the entire ride, even as I was screaming.

In America, the smile is highly regarded. Orthodontists are paid huge sums of money to make each person’s smile as perfect as it can be. People are willing to go to great lengths to have their smile be as beautiful as it can be. Then, there are celebrities like America Ferrara, whose smiles are actually a source of income! She has insurance on her smile, so if she ever loses it, she will still receive money for it.

For the rest of us, it is just a way to express our many feelings. Joy, hope, pride, and delight, all through one simple grin. Smiles can also be deceptive. In the movies, when the bad guy finally gets his plot all figured out, you see the satisfactory smirk slide onto his face. I like to think there are more pleasant smiles than the bad ones, though. My favorite smile, to which I’ve never found anything close to matching, is the smile of a child. It’s indescribable. You see the pure joy in their eyes and laughter they can’t contain. It’s the most contagious thing I have every been around. Worse than the flu.

I’ve always heard how it takes less muscle to smile than it does to frown. The thing that bothers me, is that people still frown. It obviously doesn’t take a lot of brain power or effort to make the two corners of your mouth go up, so why not give it a try? Everyday, I have to complete the outfit I’m wearing by adding a complimentary smile. A nice gift to me and anyone passing me by.