The first Friday of October is World Smile Day (October 7), a relatively new holiday with a fascinating story. Created by a commercial artist named Harvey Ball, this day came about as a response to his creation of the smiley face. Harvey worried that the commercialization of the symbol would lessen its impact. We can hardly blame him for his estimation; the symbol has been used in many different ways including clothing, comic books, coffee mugs, pins, and more. These little yellow faces are more than just a symbol, they’re a statement about the power of smiling.
HISTORY OF WORLD SMILE DAY
In 1963, Harvey Ball, a graphic artist and ad man from Worcester, Massachusetts, created the smiley face symbol we’ve all come to know. Popularity for this symbol exploded into the world of popular culture. It’s every artists’ dream for their work to be respected and recreated and few symbols have had quite the legacy that Harvey’s creation has had.
Throughout the years, the smiley face has become one of the most well-known symbols in the world. It has appeared in movies such as ‘Forest Gump’ and used as a motif in the graphic novel, ‘Watchmen.’ It’s so well-known that just by saying “smiley face”, we bet that you can see it in your mind. That recognizable yellow circle with black dots for eyes and a simple curve for a genuine and pure smile. However, the original smiley face had more of an oblong smile, a bit more hand drawn in aesthetic, taking up more space on the face than we see in modern recreations. Because of its overuse, it started to move away from its intent of goodwill and good cheer and he knew something had to be done.
In 1999, World Smile Day became an official holiday in order to regain control. The celebration aspects of the day were simple yet effective: people were to use the day to smile and make small acts of kindness worldwide. Harvey wanted to keep the smile connected to the human being. By doing so, you’d smile and in return, you’d make someone else smile and brighten up their day.
This is a day I can give support to everyday! SMILE!