Real Men Don't Smile

  • AthleteTO

    Posts: 12

    Mar 21, 2008 5:18 PM GMT
    In the category of absurd internalized homophobia, comes the stunning epidemic of non-smiling photos. I've noticed over the years how rare it is to see smiling profile photos – but today, it all came together and struck me why.

    Real men don't smile.

    Is it true? When you consider why people choose non-smiling photos for their profiles, it's pretty clear that they are presenting a tougher, butcher, more masculine image. But wait – since when was smiling a feminine quality? And more importantly – how extreme have we gotten if we feel we can't show our happy, joyful, fun-loving selves on our profiles?

    Ironically – one of the most common things I see in descriptions of what men are looking for in other men is – drum roll please – "a nice smile."

    So where is the disconnect here? What is it about smiling that we are so afraid of?

    Be careful now. Don't run off and take several photos of yourself for your profile now that you've read this posting, and show off those pearly whites. Wouldn't want anyone to think you’re not so butch after all… icon_twisted.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 21, 2008 5:26 PM GMT
    Well I'll tell you, I've heard some commentary that I thought was ridiculous on RJ from time to time, but this takes the cake.

    Let me say I'm not criticizing you, AthleteTO, maybe it is something that should be discussed. I just think the premise should be expounded upon.....

    I love smiles.. I think they are VERY important. It conveys so much and relays what kind of a person you are. If you are a gay man looking to get f@!ked, smiles probably don't matter as much. A great smile
    looks great, it conveys more than you know.... people pay thousands of dollars for a nice smile. I had braces for 4.5 years for nice teeth... Its critical.

    I'm ready to hear, "real men don't walk dogs" or "real men don't wear short underwear".. to me it makes as much sense...

    And AthleteTO, the best thing about your picture, which I think is very nice.... you have a great smile.
    It makes the picture. Very important!
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    Mar 21, 2008 6:42 PM GMT
    I have trouble laughing in a photo because I feel phoney. I tell people who are taking the picture "if you want me to laugh or smile tell me a joke", otherwise I will have this stoic look on my face with perhaps just the hint of a smile.
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Mar 21, 2008 7:02 PM GMT
    I hate my smile, so the most you'll see in any of my pics on here is a half smile, no teeth.

    I think my smile makes me look half-dorky half-crazed, for me it has nothing to do with thinking that real men don't smile because I can hardly look at myself and consider myself a 'real man'.
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    Mar 21, 2008 7:21 PM GMT
    I dunno. I'm generally cheerful and often can't help smiling. Not only does it make people smile back, but it makes them wonder what I'm up to...

    Plus, I get a boatload of compliments on my smile, so I guess it sort of then feeds my need to grin icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 21, 2008 7:25 PM GMT
    i understand the question you're asking:

    you're asking about one of the fundamental issues concerning gaze theory. the idea that women are portrayed as sexual objects who are welcoming to the gaze of a presumed heterosexual male audience, while men are portrayed as abstractions/metaphors of strength or subjects of action.

    for example, women smiling in portraiture/cinema/photography traditionally appeals to straight guys, because a smiling woman is supposedly more likely to be receptive to potential sexual advances. men, therefore, cannot be seen that way, or they will be fulfilling a role that is offensive to the sexual tastes of straight men. it was proposed originally (a few decades ago) that men cannot be portrayed in any way which might cause the audience to have a homo moment.

    men look off into the distance, even in antiquated underwear ads (usually with their hands purposefully on their hips), avoiding confrontational (or seductive?) eye contact with the viewer. men don't smile, because it might accidentally be seen as flirtatious, and since we all know straight women and gay men don't look at advertising, that smile would be potentially threatening.

    although men are portrayed in popular photography/cinema/portraits very differently today, it's a recent development that began with the ck underwear ads with atonio sabato, jr and marky mark. from that point on men were used as sexual objects much more commonly. they would lay around in sexual poses for no other reason than to be beautiful - a highly "feminized" posture by more archaic standards.

    so then. men do not smile in pictures in order to seem distant, heroic, serious, strong, etc... gaze theory has evolved as the style of portraiture has evolved, but there are still underlying assumptions about men, sexuality, and their physical/facial gestures. it's not so much an issue that real men don't smile, but that real men in portraits don't (at least not until recently).
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    Mar 21, 2008 7:29 PM GMT
    I'm pretty sure I never stop smiling. I'm like the joker.
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    Mar 21, 2008 7:32 PM GMT
    Smile

    It's the second best thing you can do with your lips
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    Mar 21, 2008 7:33 PM GMT
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 21, 2008 7:35 PM GMT
    WOW! Didn't see this one coming. I love smiling. Whoever thinks that smiling isn't butch has got a screw loose somewhere. I hate to break it to people but everyone smiles or has smiled before and it surely doesn't make a man less butch.

    That's absurb. The way I see it is that most guys who don't smile don't do so because of bad of teeth. At least that's been the impression I've gotten.
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    Mar 21, 2008 7:37 PM GMT
    Luckydog76 said<<<<<<<<<<<<<icon_biggrin.gif


    More like:

    8========D icon_biggrin.gif

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    Mar 21, 2008 7:37 PM GMT
    hold on y'all - he didn't say he thought men who smiled weren't masculine... he was asking why we think it's common to see men in photographs without smiles.
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    Mar 21, 2008 7:40 PM GMT
    I know for me (growing up) I thought i looked ugly when i smile. Now im more comfortable in my own skin and those who know me...know I smile...alot.

    Although I do not like to smile in posed pictures...seem's too forced. I like candid smile shots
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    Mar 21, 2008 7:43 PM GMT
    its primeval

    A smile does not reveal a square jaw which is a natural atribute to look for in a fertile male
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    Mar 21, 2008 7:46 PM GMT
    Smiling takes balls, especially when a gay guy smiles at another guy who may or may not be gay. Yup, real men smile. Pussies pout.
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    Mar 21, 2008 7:52 PM GMT
    I smirk LOL icon_twisted.gif
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    Mar 21, 2008 7:52 PM GMT
    =) I smile, frown, pout, and exaggerate expressions whenever I'm in pic. Not that I'm a ham, at least I don't feel I am... For me, the picture has to set a mood. Maybe I'm thinking like a photographer, but than again maybe I should be one? ...anyways, smiles are great. I love a guy with smiles. It makes all the difference when I decide to add someone to my friends list on most networks I'm on. Someone with a positive character just makes me feel more welcomed ;)
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    Mar 21, 2008 8:05 PM GMT
    Years ago, I practiced my smile til I got one that I liked. Then I memorized how it felt...lips to teeth. Now I can bust a smile on cue anytime. ... icon_lol.gif

    How well did I do?

    Me.jpg

    me-cowboy.jpg
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    Mar 21, 2008 8:12 PM GMT
    Great thread! Maybe this explains why the models in Men's style magazines always have such an unpleasant scowl on their faces. Check any copy of Details or Esquire for examples. Either they are trying to look more butch or they can't disguise their true feelings about the "fashions" they are wearing!
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Mar 21, 2008 8:24 PM GMT
    Caslon saidYears ago, I practiced my smile til I got one that I liked. Then I memorized how it felt...lips to teeth. Now I can bust a smile on cue anytime. ... icon_lol.gif

    How well did I do?

    Me.jpg

    me-cowboy.jpg


    Delicious!
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    Mar 21, 2008 8:34 PM GMT
    ShawnTO said[quote][cite]Caslon said[/cite]Years ago, I practiced my smile til I got one that I liked. Then I memorized how it felt...lips to teeth. Now I can bust a smile on cue anytime. ... icon_lol.gif

    How well did I do?

    Me.jpg

    me-cowboy.jpg


    Delicious![/quote]

    Thank you....I would say the same to you but my eyes still havent gotten above your nips! ... icon_eek.gif ... icon_lol.gif
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    Mar 21, 2008 8:42 PM GMT
    XRuggerATX saidSmiling takes balls, especially when a gay guy smiles at another guy who may or may not be gay. Yup, real men smile. Pussies pout.



    you kick ass.

    Although I rarely smile in photo's, that I take. But if I am with people of course. Don't want to be phony.

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    Mar 21, 2008 8:49 PM GMT
    ShawnTO saidI hate my smile, so the most you'll see in any of my pics on here is a half smile, no teeth.

    I think my smile makes me look half-dorky half-crazed, for me it has nothing to do with thinking that real men don't smile because I can hardly look at myself and consider myself a 'real man'.


    Huh?

    I double checked your photos, you definitely look like a real man, especially in the black undie shots!
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 21, 2008 9:00 PM GMT
    LOL!!

    One person in my unit calls me smiley...icon_biggrin.gif

    HAHA! I just remembered that yesterday, I was at a local purchase store and had to go outside to call a coworker in order to get better reception. So I'm just outside the door and I'm actually squinting because of the glare on my cell phone screen, even though I'm in the shade. This girl comes up, and she's a very strange one at that, and asked why I was smiling.


    14 years ago, I knew someone that was always smiley. She had a very warm personality and a lot of it was attributed to her smile, even on her bad days. So I took that cue and adopted the same.

    The reason why I'm not smiling in my photo is basically because I was drunk and alone when I took my pic.
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Mar 21, 2008 9:04 PM GMT
    jbedwards said[quote][cite]ShawnTO said[/cite]I hate my smile, so the most you'll see in any of my pics on here is a half smile, no teeth.

    I think my smile makes me look half-dorky half-crazed, for me it has nothing to do with thinking that real men don't smile because I can hardly look at myself and consider myself a 'real man'.


    Huh?

    I double checked your photos, you definitely look like a real man, especially in the black undie shots![/quote]

    I just can't help but think how bizarre that sounds. I guess I really am changing more than I thought.