You have to have been living under a rock since 1963 to not recognise the famous smiley face symbol that was invented by Harvey Ball in, well, 1963. He was commissioned by an insurance company to draw something to raise the morale of the employees, and it was an instant success.
Over the decades that followed his designing it, the smiley was copied and reproduced, copied and reproduced at an astonishing rate. More than 50 million badges with the symbol on and countless t-shirts, posters and other merch, less than 10 years later.
Of course, you can’t really claim ownership of a stylised smiley face – similar faces have been found painted in Stone Age caves… but Harvey Ball felt that the relentless commercialism had overshadowed the original intent of the drawing – to make people feel happy. And so, World Smile Day was born!
A day of happiness
Harvey, according to the World Smile Day site, ‘…thought that we, all of us, should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world. The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion. Harvey’s idea was that for at least one day each year, neither should we.’ He sounds like a pretty top guy to us. Anyway, the first Friday of October was decreed in 1999 to be World Smile Day.
The rules are pretty simple: “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile”!
There are a few people in the celebrity world that we would like to see smiling a lot more. Everyone looks radiant with a big, cheesy grin on their face!
It *is* possible to find photos of Ms Wintour smiling, but she does seem to have a perpetually unimpressed face most of the time. You’re impeccably glamorous and chic Anna, crack us a grin!
Famously firey and not a little grumpy, Mr Bale is known as a method actor, so any time he’s playing a tragic role, he looks like he lives it. If being ‘the Goddamn Batman’ isn’t cause enough to smile, we don’t know what is!
Not so much Poker Face is po-faced most of the time – Gaga is too concerned with looking weird and otherworldly than she is about looking happy. As she’s one of the biggest pop stars ever, we say, ‘cheer up, love!’
Daniel Craig might be James Actual Bond, but he’s not a smiler. He once told a reporter, “The Daily Mail loves saying (putting on whiny voice) “He never smiles” – yeah, because I know you’re f*****g taking pictures of me, that’s why.
“Because the Daily Mail comes to mind every time I see a camera. I challenge anybody to f*****g smile. I’m just not that person.”
Arguably the most famous non-smiling celebrity out there, Victoria Beckham is pretty much exclusively seen out and about with what can only be described as ‘a right face on her’. Apart from singing, which she sucked at, we can safely say she’s kicked arse at everything she’s set her mind to, from motherhood to fashion design. Come on, let’s have a smile!
Not that you should need a day to do something special for your friends and loved ones, but we encourage you to go out there today and make someone smile. Go buy someone flowers, chocolates, booze, pearls, or just donate a few hugs! You could even pay it forward and buy someone a coffee when you get your own.
Or, if all else fails, just walk around and smile at people! Some might think you’re mental, but laughter and smiles are infectious, especially for children. Try it!
Happy World Smile Day!