The Logic Of Women Smiling In The Essay Why Women Smile By Amy Cunningham
In the essay “why women smile” the author Amy Cunningham analyzes the logic behind why women smile. According to her article women have been influenced by society in the way they show or do not show their emotions. So my essay will go over how women are still not wholly equal and how society still has control over the way women act.
In opening the article, the author seems to convey the idea that the leading cause of a woman’s smile is based on natural happiness, but more so a women smile is nurtured by societal expectation. Which is why the author states “I find myself trying to quit” implying to the reader that her smile is something that is negative. It makes her feel as though the only thing that helps her to accomplish the things that she has accomplished in life is her smile. By saying “find myself” the author may also be implying that the best way for her to find/understand herself is if she stops doing things to please people and start doing things to please herself, which is to narrow down on the amount of time she smiles.
As a woman, it seems as though all of her power is in her smile, which is why she continued by saying that she is “seeking to lower the wattage a bit.” A wattage is signified as the amount of power required to operate an electrical device. So when the author uses the word wattage she may be referring to her light, and as a woman, we are under much pressure because we must learn how to be great mothers, excellent worker and even if we’re frustrated and tired we still have to continue to smile just so we can be that light within society.
Our smile is what defines us in a sense because it is what draws people to us. According to Cunningham as women people “associate you with your smile” because women are known to be more nurturing. She makes it seem as though the main reason women have the cliché of always smiling is that like smiling with a baby people want to feel that nurturing vibe from a woman and smiling allow women to have more of a comforting presence. She also claims that “women doctors smile more than their male counterparts” which goes to show that society is still in the slightest way saying that women success strongly depends on what others think of them.
When writing the essay the author talks in the first person point of view to show her emotion, as a woman she wants all women to know that they are not alone in their views. The first person point of view allows her to be involved in her opinion, requiring her not to only speak her point of view, but also include outside information that can help the reader, whom I’m assuming are women, relate to what it is that she is saying.
Which is why she continued with saying, “My smile has gleamed like a cheap plastic night-light” by the use of the word “my” she is including herself and it also shows that she has a lot of confidence in her opinion. A night-light is used only in the dark, and a women smile is seen as something in a sense that brightens everyone’s day, and this is a good thing. However, what about women needs, it’s like women are meant to take care of everyone, make sure they feel comfortable when society doesn’t even think to do the same for us.
While I agree with Cunningham’s argument, saying that women in our society are being forced to smile I kinda also disagree. In a sense society, I think, doesn’t really force women, to smile it force us to live up to the societal standards of beauty causing women to develop their own insecurities. The insecurities that women have because we have so much pressure being put on us to be attractive, we smile because society influences us to believe that smiling makes you more beautiful. When she said that “a woman’s face is her work of fiction” she is implying that a woman smiling doesn’t necessarily imply happiness but it’s because we want to fit in. our smile is fictional meaning that it is made up in order to entertain our audience, which would be society.
In a sense, it like society promotes to women that your smile is “the essence of you” meaning that a women smile is her most important quality. Our smile draws people in, it is what makes people want to get close to us and if we don’t smile when we are pushing people away because we look like we are angry/ unattractive. We are limiting our opportunities when we decide not to smile, and “despite all the work we Americans women have done to get and to maintain full control of our bodies….. We still don’t seem to be fully in charge of a couple of small muscle groups in our faces.”
In ending her essay Cunningham then stated that she believes the idea that “female mature earlier than males” play a big role in the reason why women smile. Completely changing her view she ends the essay in a way saying that society doesn’t control us, it is us women who control society with our smile. Promoting to women that smiling is good as long as we are being honest with our feelings.
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