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Forced Smiles Bring Anxiety

Steins, L. R. (1992) Say Cheese And Die!, Academic Incorporated.



Cheese creates a situation in which the user is immobile and results in calamity.

"Say Cheese!" is the thing I hear all the time when I am expected to smile in photos. It almost becomes this "trigger word" for me that exemplifies my lack of desire to smile. However, I used to call this shirt Smile More, because I wanted to basically wanted to tell people to "Smile More" when the irony is that I don't like to be told to smile. However, going with the singularity naming process I went with Cheese.


Disclaimer: Heavy use of multiple colors might hurt to look at.

The idea of Cheese is to represent my Anxiety when it comes to forcing a Smile in a photo. I cannot stress how hard it is for me to create a good-looking smile, therefore I feel that I ruin the experience of everyone else when I am that one individual who looks "bad" in group photos.

I eventually came across one of my own custom backgrounds I use for my phone, which is Morgana from Persona 5 in this hacker-like look

And that had me think about how this "3-D" effect can represent Instability and that can easily happen from high levels of Anxiety. So I went with it.


So what ended up happening is taking a regular face such as this.

and then tried to overlay this with a "Devil" type of smile to create this idea that there is some mischievous mind that causes our anxiety.

However, you can see a huge problem that occurs with this design. The Devil is literally overshadowing the regular face, therefore I went with a simpler approach and ended up with this.

Which I then ask myself, "Besides being a T-shirt company, what if I become a Button company as well. And then I created this silly rendition called the Say Cheese Button.

And sooner or later I realized that no I won't be doing Buttons, as I don't see it would bring much use in the first place, therefore I created the shirt version.


The design was almost perfect, however I had to change my shirt's name from Smile More to Cheese and it felt weird to have the text have similarities with the title, therefore I changed the wording to its original name, "Smile More".

*note font used is different.

Overall I think I this design reflects on my overall Anxiety when it comes to forced smiles. Now I am not trying to put anyone down since this is a harmless act in general, however I will look as dull as possible in every photo taken.