How much do you hate wrinkles? Do you hate them enough to forgo smiling for 40 years? Because that is dedication—are you really about this life?
A British woman named Tess Christian is, she loathes wrinkles so much she literally gave up smiling for forty years. She is 50 now, which means at ten years old—ten—she was thinking about what she'd look like at 50. So on her 16th birthday, no smiling. Seeing long lost family members, no smiling. Getting an awesome sale price on a fabulous outfit—like that Pet Shop Boys ready ensemble from 1982 above—no smiling. Nailing a work presentation, no smiling. Partying with friends, no smiling—but according to Tess, her people know her missing smile doesn't mean she's a bore, she told the Daily Mail.
"The corners of my mouth might go up a little but I never looked anything other than faintly amused. Friends knew I was fun to be around, so it wasn't an issue."
Tess learned to keep her facial muscles at bay by freezing them as a student at a joyless Catholic school where nuns discouraged children from smiling.
"I was always told to wipe the smile off my face so I learnt to smirk instead," Tess said. "If I did smile I developed big hamster cheeks that made me look deranged. I looked up to old-school Hollywood icons such as Marlene Dietrich for inspiration; she never smiled and I loved the way she shouldered glamorously."
"Mona Lisa," as her friends call her, admits her vanity and want to remain youthful (because who doesn't) and says her anti-wrinkle process is cheaper than Botox or other creams. She's right, but I don't think I could swear off smiling for … years. Thank god black don't crack and I don't have to worry about these things.
ps. How Absolutely Fabulous are Tess's throwback photos?
Image via Shutterstock