Fall 2013/ Essay 1
“Why Women Smile vs. The Men We Carry”
Emotions allow people into our hearts and allow them to understand our feelings. Whether we
laugh, that translates to happiness, or if we cry, which translates to sadness, some type of
emotion can be read. Even through smiles, that allows an entry of assumed happiness or joy.
However, these days, sometimes smiles are portrayed to cover hurt or pain or to fulfill a mask of fear or
discomfort. Either way, a smile is automatically assumed to be a sign of happiness or joy, regardless of
Even during childhood, before I could walk or talk, emotions are what I use to communicate.
Growing into adolescents, I would smile when I enjoyed something or I would smile from excitement.
However, the older I have gotten, the more apt I am to try and shield my emotions and depict to always
be happy. “Too many of us smile in lieu of showing what’s really on our mind” (Cunningham , pg 348)
and I am guilty of this. Not because I am bitter or a unhappy person, but because as a woman, it is easier
to guard our true emotions, especially since a “woman’s happy willing deference is something the world
wants demonstrated” (Cunningham , pg 349.) Usually when something is bothering me, I have a habit of
smiling through my pain. I will hold in my true emotions for fear of being judged or not thoroughly
understood. The level of vulnerability that I endure is massive and because of that, I smile to smother
my true feelings. As a woman, we do not like to feel anything other than happiness. It is our strength.
So to maintain my strong, I smile to enclose my honest feelings.
When I was younger, I did not look at my actions or emotions as something to “control.” It
seemed as though when I was sad, hurt or mad, that is the demeanor I executed. If I was happy, elated
or bursting with joy, I executed that demeanor as well. However, as I am advancing into adulthood, I am
learning the value of controlling my emotions as well as knowing when to display them. As I have grown
older, I have realized I cannot have everything my way all the time. Thus, things will happen that I am
displeased with and I have learned to smile through the pain and shielding negative emotions.
It is common for one to assume women should always harbor a smile and always be in high
spirits, especially from a male perspective. It is documented by some that “girls smile more than boys
(Cunningham, pg 348.) That contributes to my belief that women can control their emotions better
than men. Not because they are weak, but because they do not have the nurturing ability as we women
do. It seems as though men have put themselves on a pedestal and get discouraged when that
pedestal is not effectively