The first Friday of October is designated as World Smile Day, and this year, it’s October 2nd. Because healthy teeth and gums are always a reason to smile, our Cary dentist is sharing some information about this lesser-known holiday and how you can celebrate.
What Is World Smile Day
World Smile Day is an international holiday with a simple goal: to bring a smile to the face of others. At its core, it was created to move away from the commercialization of the yellow smiley face and use it instead as it was intended – to bring joy to others and act as a symbol of kindness.
The Inspiration Behind World Smile Day
You’re probably familiar with the “Smiley Face.” In fact, just reading the word most likely calls to mind a bright yellow circle with two black eyes and a black curved line for a smile. Proof that beauty is in simplicity, the smiley face has been used in almost every facet of visual culture since its creation in 1963. But how did it come about?
Harvey Ball, a graphic artist working advertising in Worcester, Massachusetts, created the smiley face in part of a campaign for State Mutual Life Assurance Company to boost employee morale and was quoted regarding the design, “I made a circle with a smile for a mouth on yellow paper because it was sunshiny and bright.” According to modern legend, Ball created the icon in ten minutes and was paid $45 dollars for his design.
The company used the design for a few years and began putting it on buttons and signs, causing it to explode in popularity as it fed into the cultural zeitgeist of love and happiness of the late 1960s. Two representatives from Hallmark, Bernard and Murray Spain, picked up the design and were able to get the copyright for it.
Subversion of the Smiley
In the 1970s, the smiley was everywhere, but as the times grew darker, the smiley face took on a darker meaning. It was used in a subversive manner, stretched and reconfigured to be more surreal, later used by bands, like Nirvana or in the graphic novel The Watchmen to represent one of the villains.
Reclaiming the Smiley Face
Harvey Ball wanted to bring the image back to its original intent of bringing joy and optimism. A campaign was launched to restore the intent of goodwill and cheer, and it worked. In 1999, World Smile Day became an officially recognized holiday with one simple goal: make others smile through simple acts of kindness. By sharing kindness, you’ll smile and brighten up the day of someone else, creating a chain reaction of happiness.
How You Can Celebrate World Smile Day
This year, more than ever, we need a reason for good cheer. Fortunately, there are all kinds of simple ways you and your family can celebrate World Smile Day (in a way that’s safe).
- Do a random act of kindness, such as buy the person in line behind you at Starbucks a cup of coffee.
- Cook a favorite meal for your family;
- Have a family game night with everyone’s favorite snacks and drinks;
- Have a family reunion over Zoom;
- Donate to your favorite charity;
Not only are you showing kids how to give back and share joy, they can be a part of it with these activities:
- Make cards for grandparents you haven’t seen in a long time;
- Donate toys and books in good condition to a local shelter;
- Write gratitude notes about what you’re thankful for.
Get a Bright Healthy Smile for World Smile Day
We are dedicated to helping you show off your best smile to the world. If you are due for a teeth cleaning or checkup, call one of our offices and we will help you find the best time to come in for a check-up. You can reach us at our Holly Springs dentist office at (919)-600-6262 and our Cary dentist office at (919) 467-2203. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.