I recently updated my Facebook profile photo to the one show above, and was met with comments regarding my seemingly displeased expression.
Though I know most weren’t malintended, the circumstance provided an opportunity to give life to thoughts I’d been considering for a while.
“On being told to ‘smile.'”
I will not apologize for emoting.
The only sincerity in my sorrow is that you fear the recognition of pain, anger, contemplation and grief, that you instruct their repression, and you revel in their eradication.
Do not diminish me to relinquish responsibility for the existence of emotions you would rather not experience.
Do not qualify me as an inconvenience simply because my expression provokes thoughtfulness.
Do not reject me in the wake of a denied pleasantry.
Do not seek to slather fractures in preferred perfection for the sake of hubris.
Identify, accept and respond. Consider, question and grow.
Do not tell me to smile.
Instead, question why I won’t.