Why do people feel obliged to smile every time a camera points at them?

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Why do people feel obliged to smile every time a camera points at them? What’s that all about? If you point a camera at a little kid to take a picture they never put on a smile but just have the face they naturally have in that moment. That is, until all the adults who want to idolise their kids on film keep pestering them to “say cheeeeze”. Then they start to obey, like little clones. Probably around 95+% of all smiles in the world are fake (most of them without even realising it). That is truly scary! One expects such ersatz from the advertising industry, government propaganda or ‘new consciousness’ cults, so they can sell you their lies or their product. But from my fellow human beings I expect better, higher things. I’m so glad that no one told Dmitri Shostakovich to smile on camera either when he was a young man http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pi…/Shostakovich-Dmitri-104.jpg or when he was an old one http://kennethwoods.net/…/uplo…/2012/03/old-shostakovich.jpg . Now there’s a guy I can trust to tell me the truth rather than being a salesman for himself or anything else. Was Gustav Mahler laughing his socks of when he posed for the camera in 1904? http://www.thefamouspeople.com/pro…/images/gustav-mahler.jpg or Johan Sebastian Bach in 1730? http://www.baroquemusic.org/bachat35.jpg . No way! Anyone (especially an artist) who wants to be taken seriously, as if he or she is the real deal rather than a con artist, avoids a fake smile for the camera. The Mona Lisa knew a thing or two about avoiding fakery. I’m so glad she didn’t fall for the cheesecake lure. It’s almost like it’s become a crime not to smile (or grimace like an idiot) on camera these days. “Oh, go on, you spoilsport; smile!” But why? What for? To convince the photographer and all those who see the photograph that all is well with the world? That would be a lie. Why should my face wear a lie? One can read so much more into a natural, unsmiling face (by which I do not propose a miserable one – just natural). Perhaps that’s the key. We all wear masks and no one is themselves anymore. More scary stuff. Ever noticed that a skull, when stripped of its flesh, is just one big grinning fool. Death face. Figures…

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