You’d be lying if you say that you haven’t ever wondered why most of the runway models don’t smile. An expressionless face is very popular among both catwalk and print models. Some say that models don’t smile because they aren’t happy (which is a pretty lame reason), whereas some think that it is their personal choice.
I have heard so many people saying that models should push aesthetic boundaries and that the smile free approach is really stupid.
But, is it?
Like every other profession, modelling also has a purpose to fulfil, and any and everything done in the process is to achieve that purpose. Here are few reasons why the models don’t tend to smile while walking down a ramp or posing for a shoot. It might clear some doubts.
1. The no smile policy has a heritage
The look of aristocratic disdain was popular during the 19th century when the royalties used to get their portraits made. The haughty look was a symbol of status and class.
2. It’s the ‘I am better than you’ look
An open smiling face is conventionally used to show interest in an interaction or any possible conversation. That means the smiling person considers you worthy enough to be smiled at. The very fact that the models don’t smile elevates their status above ours and it portrays self-control and nonchalance of the European upper classes.
3. It portrays an unshakable personality
They very fact that you do not let your emotions take control of you shows elevation above earthly concerns and access to higher knowledge. When your dignity and composure are at greater risk, it’s wise to stand unshakable.
4. The way they carry themselves can generate reverence or ridicule
Trends dictate what is acceptable to wear, and all of us style ourselves somewhere in relation to the current trend. But on the ramp, new trends are defined. Imagine you walking in your office in an unconventional outfit. If you smile or laugh, you attempt to break the trend can be ridiculed. But if you carry your look with confidence and nonchalance, you’ll be considered tasteful.
Models break the norms, and their look can generate either reverence or ridicule.
5. Any expression will distract from clothes
The prime purpose of a model is to showcase whatever he/she is wearing in the best possible way. Anything and everything that distracts from the outfit (including a smile) is a big no-no.
6. It exudes confidence and self-acceptance
The stern and confident look is a sign of self-acceptance. It just shows that they are not seeking anyone’s approval and are carrying whatever they are wearing with utmost panache.
7. A smile can make an avant-garde or outlandish ensemble look ridiculous
Some of the on-ramp looks are pretty unconventional. So, you might see a woman with a moustache, or using an earthen pot as a head accessory. Any facial expression can make the appearance look embarrassing/amusing. So, the no smile face just shows that they can make any goddamn thing look fashionable.
So, now you know the reason. And honestly, it does make a lot of sense.
Until next time… 🙂