Faking it, possibly

I'm backing up photos off Multiply - that site's ditching its social media side and it has the only copies of virtually all of my college photos - and I'm browsing Facebook, trying (and failing) to skip all the memes and Daniel Padilla photos.

I end up with profile photos, which aren't always a good thing. I mean, they always tell you that they're happier, with their boyfriends and their pet dogs and their desaturated, high-contrast artsy shots. But I wasn't in a mood to feel mopey, I guess, because the first thing that crossed my head - the moment I saw Hazel's new profile photo - was this: I'm no good at projecting.

I still hate the way I smile. With my teeth out, it's what you'd call a sheepish grin. With my teeth in, it's a constipated face. I was going through the photos I took during the CAM get-together a few weeks back and I realized I had a bunch of photographs where, instead of smiling, I opened my mouth, pretending to look wacky, assuming I look wacky. Instead my photo with Mooie looks... weird.

I guess that's why I'm the one taking the photos, why I'm the one downloading roughly six gigabytes of photos from a website that's going away.

I should've remembered Mon's smiling lessons. It's one of those moments that stand out from my college years: we were at the Miguel stairs, on the Velasco side, on the second floor, and we were taking photos for the batch assembly bulletin board.

Also, I know I told this story already, but I'll tell it again anyway. "I don't know how to smile," I told Mon that day. Writing down those words now, I realize how whiny and high school-y it sounds.

Mon took me aside, more or less. "Ganito," she said. "Say 'A'. Eyyyyyyy!"

"Eyyyyyyy!" I followed, thinking, this actually works! But I guess, since then, I thought my face looked totally fake when I smiled that way. That, or I don't really have the chops to look like a commercial model. You know, like that dude on the billboards. I think his name is Carlo. Karlo?

I found those old batch assembly photos again - a few weeks back, actually, and I think the smile I did there wasn't bad. Except for the one where it's just me and Anna, the two people off the national affairs committee: I definitely looked sleazy, and my idea of wacky - "let's hug Anna" - certainly didn't help.

I'm no good at projecting. I try to smile and I feel like I'm grimacing instead - not necessarily in pain, but it definitely doesn't look any comfortable. In most of my photographs I tend to not look straight: either too much to the left, or too much to the right, but still looking at the camera (at least I know that), resulting in far too much neck. I guess it's cosmic payback for all those candid photos I took back in college, those very photos I'm downloading now, as I write this?

But hey, at least I'm not that Karlo dude, who apparently has a bunch of photos where his eyes are shut while everybody else's isn't.

Also, this photo looks decent, which likely means it's a one-off. Granted, I'm at the very back, so I don't get to see much of myself, so maybe I'm having a terrible pose here. I don't know. I guess I need to be in more photos myself.

I have to practice. If I'm to look like I have a grip of my life then I should learn to look decent in my photographs. Intensive smile training. Eyyyyyyy! Eyyyyyyy! Beeeeeee! Seeeeeee! Two letters too far. Look straight at the mirror. Try many poses. Find the right angle. Not something I really waste time doing, because faking it is not as good as being it, but if I am to go visit Lau and look good for that photograph somewhere in Ultimo - if security doesn't have their way - then I should practice. Making sure your smile means something isn't apparently the thing nowadays. No wonder I'm having such a hard time.

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