Friday 26 March 2010

And you thought only bottles were plastic!

Plastic is everywhere. Just turn around and you will see that almost every second thing your eye rests on is something made of plastic. Well, it does not stop there. It extends beyond that -- plastic smiles, greetings, compliments, hand-shakes and so on.

I always thought children had the most innocent and the real smiles but now-a-days, I am disappointed that I don't get to see the 'real.' They have also become plastic. The smile which is an easy giveaway is the first sign of being unreal or plastic.

What does it cost to be real? Absolutely nothing, I say. I have heard of smiles that make a person's day and brighten up a room but most of the smiles today are for the sake of smiling. There were days when artificiality was relegated to surgeries to make up for inadequate body parts but today the most loveliest of faces 'wears' a pseudo-plastic smile.

The smile has been finding a lot of mention in self-help books and videos. So many assume that smiles are something mandatory to be worn as an identity-card, otherwise they would be carried off by secret agents. This criterion makes them smile, not a real one but a plastic smile that is much better when not forced. 'Smile increases the face-value' so we have a whole generation of people smiling away not because they want to but because they want to be seen as positive and happy-go-lucky.

If you thought this post is an exaggeration, then read this from the BBC website. 

Ban Plastic (in smiles as well as in bottles)!!!

Picture courtesy: Internet


  1. oh no please... don't say that i mean ...I agree but only partly. Sometimes my smile is my smile, especially when I talk too my loved ones... my son, my lover, my close friends... Only at work is that plastic... YES!

  2. Very true Susan. But sometimes this plastic smile is inevitable. It makes your environment less hostile. Like I go to my work place, see people whom I dont like that much, even share a same cubicle with them, but if I have to wait for a time to show them my real smile, then I have to wait forever, that might even not happen sometimes, who knows. So in places we live (like apartments), places we work, places we socialize, we have to have this plastic smile. I dont mean to say it is a must, but it does make things much better and easy. It'll still be better if all these plastic smiles are replaced by real ones. But I guess we just have to dream on for that to happen.

    Keep smiling Susan :)


  3. Good Morning Sus,

    Smiles, I feel exactly in those lines, u have just expressed. People and their fake smiles these days, esp after the onset of the MNCs. I used to be irritated at office, corporates haan!!! pseudo americans and indians (happy independence day on July 4th, can u beat that!!), they just don't mean the smile or the hi they offer, they walk by, pops how are u or how's ur day and are off, not even waiting for a reply. Time, they say, busy people and me mortal who has a time for anything and everything!! I'm ranting, see...

    Smile has to reach the eyes, I'm proud that mine does whenever I flash my 32 teeth grin, so said my prof too:). But me thinks me turning plastic too slowly, I fear...

    Have a great day, landed somewhere and there is a pc with the net, so hopped on to MnR from PnA..

    Love n Hugs

    PS: I never caught the match yesterday! still Sachin had his way I hear without the Mongoose, what a name, funny..

    Word verification: platsk almost like plastic :)

  4. So true Susan but then it would be a more depressing place if people didn't at least try. Especially at work or in business.. I think.
    It would be great if people could be happily accommodating all the time but is that possible ?
    Every little attempt helps if they are 'sincerely' trying.

    I always hope for better always.

    But I would not want this in my personal life with the people that mean most to me. There's too much artificiality out there already..

    Good thoughts.

    Keep smiling

    B M

  5. Actually, it costs a lot to be real, most people sell themselves for plastic at unbelievably cheap rates, but buying real back costs them everything.

    We'll settle for calling me Rahul.

  6. When I read the first line I turned around and looked at different plastic articles. LOL! Then the second line made me smile. I agree kids are very fake these days.. but then thats because most of them are locked up in their rooms in front of tv.. when they need to play. Sadly..fake world.. exists. Nice post!

  7. When I am talking or meeting Peeps, they can tell if I am "plastic". Seldon do I "fake" it.

    I DO think I'd rather see a half-plastic smile than the looks of boredom, mistrust, frustration and depression, on faces of so many "older" men, it seems. I try to not look so dismayed as those.

    Sometimes, if I'm feeling a little low, I can smile, and it lifts me out of the depressive state. "Act out the symptoms of radiant happiness, and depression will often slip away." I forget who wrote that.


  8. I am sitting here and smiling (genuinely!), what a refreshing post.;)

    I recognize the plastic smiles you talk about. Interestingly, here in Scandinavia people are so honest, that they can appear almost rude., Here no one will ever smile at you, if they do not know you or really want to smile. Thus very little plastic smiles around.;)

    Have a lovely Friday dear Susan,

  9. Susan, I am glad that amongst all the plastic smiles... there are a few with genuine smiles as well... One of them being you...:)

    Lovely post, As I was reading your post I was thinking about all the people at my work place who have nothing but fake plastic smiles to offer... I resent those smiles...

    @ zuzana:
    I find your description of Scandinavian honesty, interestingly funny..... :))


  10. @ Zuzana:
    @ Susan:

    Find the need to mention this as an after thought.... Rude honestly is better than being fake and plastic...
    Would you agree?


  11. Sometimes that plastic smile is a life line or a saving grace or a peace maker.

  12. Here's what I'm saying about this, Susan. I can tell if a person is truly smiling or not from their eyes. If their eyes are as stiff as a board, then those gleaming teeth have got nothing to say to me.

    Oh, and I do love your new layout. It's very open with a gorgeous color scheme! :-)


  13. Smiles, what wouldn’t anybody do to get a smile;
    makes it worthwhile to live in the world full of guile.
    Smiles make us get over all things that rile and that are vile
    Smiles brings the 2 of (u)s together though there is between a mile.

    We live in a very insensitive world. When people can adulterate life saving medicines, what chance does a 'smile' have?

  14. Great new layout, Susan.

    I know what you mean by plastic smiles, and mostly they annoy me, yet I find them a common courtesy form of acknowledgement, so I am not as offended.

    Also, I am guilty of giving them out too.

  15. yes, so true. I try to boycott anything made of plastic, whether bottles, attitudes or smiles.

    p.s. love the new layout of your blog :)


  16. ah this layout I love it
    hey where are you?

    Wink ;)

  17. a thoughtful blog
    need of the hour Susan

    **me smiles
    (not plastic)

  18. :) This one is organic Susan!! no PLASTIC ;)
    Lovely post...
    "I have heard of smiles that make a person's day and brighten up a room but most of the smiles today are for the sake of smiling."
    True. But I would also like to admit that ironically the number of instances I have seen people smile a fake smile has been startingly less when compared to those where people dont smile at all!!
    Now I dont know Susan which one of the two is the lesser evil?

    p.s. Beautiful layout, love it! especially the flying birds :)

    Hope you have a gorgious Sunday my friend !
    Love and warmest regards :)

  19. Dulce:

    How nice to be back again. Was on a mini-vacation (as you would say)! Hmmm. Dulce I think plastic is here to stay! we all have a little bit of that I reckon. Missed you sweets :)


    I understand when you say that it is inevitable ut atleast one can try to be genuine to a certain extent. Smile truly!! Am smiling Sukanya. Thanks for coming by.


    I am in perfect tune with you when you say that the smile has to reach to the eyes. That's how I know that it is a genuine smile! All the others are fluff.

    Hugs back to you dear Ash.

    :( We lost BIG TIME to Mumbai Indians.

  20. BM:

    Long time no see. Hope you are well! Genuine smiles need not be accommodating BM. Every little attempt definitely helps but I hope the attempts are at least genuine!


    Now this is definitely good -- calling you by name! It does not cost much Rahul. Just a simple thought to be warm and true!


    If all of us here take a decision not to fake then I guess there is a change already! What say?

  21. Steve:

    What you have shared about smiles is very true. Looks of boredom are definitely not very pleasant when compared to plastic smiles but then in many cases boredom gives rise to the surging plastic smiles!


    As Seema mentioned I like the way you have said that in your place brutal honesty is the done thing than plastic smiles. No arguments here!


    All of us have many stories about plastic smiles. They sure are increasing by the hour!

  22. SS:

    Welcome Sylvia and glad that you took time for a comment. Yes, it's way better than a smirk or a long face.


    I like my new layout as well and my, isn't it lovely! I also look at eyes and figure out whether it's a real one or not. And the plastic ones end faster. They are like a quick flash of lightening. Open and close unlike the real 'smiles' which linger.


    What a lovely comment in verse! I think I am getting a bit cliched as I say this every time but I can't stop myself.

  23. Angie:

    Thought it was time for some change so the new layout. I liked the soberness of the template. We all are getting used to the idea of plasticity and so don't much mind it. This state of mind prompted me to think of this post.


    Thanks for noticing the layout. Seems perfect for the blog!

    I liked the way you said "boycott anything made of plastic . . . smiles"

    Hugs back to you dear Khulud.


    Again!! Nice to see you again. Hugs :)

  24. Sophia:

    I would wonder how it is there in the world of scientists!!! Do you guys smile at all?


    Now you are the silver-lining in the cloud when you say: "the number of instances I have seen people smile a fake smile has been startlingly less when compared to those where people don't smile at all!!"

    I can always say that a serious nod is better than a fake smile any day!

    You have a lovely week dear Ruchi :)

  25. Plastic smiles??? Is there a word like that for crying too??? :)
    Yes you are right about the plastic things and plastic smiles now a days but believe me I’ve never seen a plastic smile on small children’s face. And I love them for their innocence. I guess you are talking about the older children. :)
    Actually RP’s view made me think once again deeply whether which is more evil and I arrived at the obvious conclusion.
    Personally speaking even I would prefer a serious nod to a plastic smile but there are certain places or situations where a plastic smile is absolutely necessary in our day to day life. Even though it is plastic it creates a pleasing atmosphere. Take the case of receptionists, Air hostesses, bank employees etc. Can you go near them if they just nod seriously? In this modern world more than our family and more than our people we have to meet and come across such people and isn’t it good to have a smile for nothing than to see a serious nod?
    On a different note, personally I know many people whose smile is real and it shows on their face value. Always a person with real smile looks more appealing than the one with plastic smile. And it is true!

  26. People see through plastic smiles. And I don't think that the smiles we pass along to strangers on the streets, on a hike, in the bus, etc. are necessarily plastic. They're an automatic social reaction. BUT when I see toddlers these days turning to the camera and giving a toothless grin on demand -- that's plastic! It's so hard to get any "natural" smiles because these kids are so attuned (thanks to their parents) to posing. Thus begins the social pressure of smiling for the camera ... one which becomes second nature by the time we're old enough to have ID pictures taken.
    I don't believe we can be genuine each and every time we smile, especially those times I mentioned above when we smile at strangers because that doesn't even register in our conscious mind. However, those times that we do it consciously, it should come from the heart. Thanks for writing this wonderful post, Susan :-)

  27. Asif:

    Where had you disappeared? Long time ah? Well there are plastic tears -- except that they are not referred to as 'plastic' but crocodile tears. Remember?
    Even in the case of receptionists or air hostesses, a genuine smile is possible, Asif. Why not? And everyone is clever enough to differentiate a fake and a real so why not smile for REAL.
    I am glad that you know many who smile for 'real.' Maybe it's you then. The way you make them feel probably coaxes a real smile :)

  28. Mansi:

    Honoured by your comment here. In fact you had started following me long ago but then I was waiting for a comment. And lo! here it is. Glad that you took the time.

    "Automatic social reaction" sounds good but why can't that automatic reaction become a real one. Probably you are right when you talk about conditioning. Now I have to think on those lines.

    Thanks Mansi for that provoking thought. You have given me a new way of looking at smiles :)



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