The Beginner’s Guide to the Perfect Smize
The Beginner’s Guide to the Perfect Smize
Credit: Mike Ruiz / The CW © 2010 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.    

America's Next Top Model

The Beginner’s Guide to the Perfect Smize


You’re 6’2” and 110 pounds, you can walk in a straight line, and you own every season of ANTM on DVD. There’s a casting call in your town next week and you know you have what it takes. There’s just one problem: You don’t know how to Smile With Your Eyes.

You’ve tried. You’ve practiced in the mirror, contorting your features into various failed impressions of fierceness, cursing your lack of facial muscle control. How does she do it? How does Tyra radiate all that Victoria’s-Secret-worthy sexy energy with nothing but her eyes (and the occasional colored contact or two)? Is she even human?

Well, we don’t know about that last question, but we do have a pretty decent handle on the secrets of the Smize, and the only reason we’re not out there shilling for Cover Girl right now is that they keep stocking the break room with peanut butter filled pretzels and damn, that stuff’s good. But from the neck up? 100% potential model.

So sit up, grab a mirror and dry those eyes, baby. They’re gonna be your ticket to reality stardom.

The Beginner’s Guide to the Perfect Smize
Credit: ©2006 Pottle Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved.    

STEP ONE: Relax.

Chill, you high-strung whippet! Do a full inhale and exhale. Do you do yoga? Start doing yoga, it will really prepare you for the month or so you’re gonna have to spend with a bunch of insecure headcases in a bright pink IKEA apartment. We don’t condone the illegal use of drugs, but if you happen to be in the possession of a bottle of Xanax, keep it on hand.

Tension gone? Good, because it’s time to...

STEP TWO: Smooth out your forehead.

Does that sound weird to you? Look in the mirror. Go ahead, it’s okay, you won’t turn to stone. You know how people with real lives and real concerns get wrinkles? Their foreheads are working out harder than those guys on Jersey Shore! When your forehead is properly relaxed, you should see a considerable expanse of real estate free up between your eyebrows and your hairline. You’ll feel calmer too. To maintain this, think about dolphins or manatees or any other kind of slow moving sea creature. Or beige. Think of the color beige.

STEP THREE: Pick a focus point.

Remember, you’re going to be radiating sexy energy at it, so make sure it isn’t a close relative or creepy co-worker. If you’re having your picture taken, take a moment to evaluate your photographer. Is he Nigel Barker? Great, focus on him. Is it your mom, and you’re in the rec room doing your Poloroids for your Cycle 17 contestant application? Serenely (remember, think beige) request a relocation to the kitchen. Take out a pint of Ben and Jerry’s from the freezer and set it on the counter (make sure it’s behind the photographer, and not in the frame.) Are you hungry? Of course you are. A little known fact about modeling is that hunger is easily converted to sexiness. Aim your gaze at the ice cream. Develop a relationship with it. When you feel that connection, you’re ready to...

The Beginner’s Guide to the Perfect Smize
Credit: Courtesy of The CW ©2008 The CW Network    

STEP FOUR: Lower your chin.

Not too much; we all know how Tyra feels about no-neck monsters. Just a tilt down slightly so that you feel like a wolf, glaring out from under your eyelids. Remember Raina from Cycle 14? The judges were always calling her a wolf. And it was a compliment! And she was the runner-up! We blame Twilight.

STEP FIVE: Squint.

Now, this is a little tricky: your cheeks are not involved in this squint. The only place you should feel this squint is directly under your eyes. Pretend like the rest of your face is paralyzed. It will be, eventually, when you’re a washed-up former-supermodel who tries to start her own reality show and you’ve Botoxed yourself to high heaven. But for now, just pretend.

At this point, you’re going to look a little funny, and Nigel Barker or your mom is going to think you’re doing a Look and try to take your picture. Calmly (think beige!) tell them to hold off. Relax the squint, but remember those muscles: you’re going to need them in a second. Hang onto your weaves, ladies, we’re almost in Smize Country!

STEP SIX: Part your lips.

Focus your breathing through your mouth. Imagine it’s hot and fiery, like a dragon’s breath. If you were able to imagine yourself as a wolf back in Step Four, now try to imagine yourself as half-wolf half-dragon. We know it’s hard, because that is a creature that does not exist. This is why models get the big bucks.

Are you feeling it? Are you there? Then fix your eyes on that pint of ice cream, elongate your neck, and...

The Beginner’s Guide to the Perfect Smize
Credit: Jim DeYonker /The CW ©2007 The CW Network LLC. All Rights Reserved.    


Literally, all you have to do is do about 1/8 of the squint you were doing before, but this time, imagine that the dragon-wolf-beast whose spirit you are evoking also has pistols in his eyesockets. Load them with bullets forged in white gold and hunger pangs and fire those suckers at Ben & Jerry. Have no mercy.

That’s it! Of course, with time and practice you will be able to do all kinds of stuff with your mouth while smizing (gasping, biting your lower lip suggestively, or in a brazen act of redundancy, smiling,) but this should get your foot in the door. Good luck, young go-getter! We’ll see you on the runway.