Dear beloved men… have you been feeling or hearing about the frustration from women about being ‘invited’ to smile? Yeah, it’s true, we can be angry & ‘touchy’ about it… and I’d love to help you understand why if you’re interested. Because it’s actually NOT new for women to feel really icky about it. We’re just beginning to feel like we can talk about it.

I know, it might sound crazy. There’s nothing wrong with smiling. You’re just trying to be polite! So what’s the problem?!?! Well there’s a few of them and I’m gonna break it down as simply & clearly as I can. Because it’s something that gets under my skin and makes me feel… violent, truth be told. And I don’t think there’s many men out there who are looking to make women feel violent. We breathe a special kind of fire with our righteous anger, you feel me?

This isn’t one of those ‘oh people are just so offended by every little thing’.
This is different. And I’m gonna (hopefully) show you why.

Firstly, I’d love to clear up a HUUUUGGGGEEEEEEE misconception.
I know. I’m blowing your mind. But truth be told, I would bet good solid cash that MORE women while interacting with others… smile MORE when we’re painfully struggling to be polite, than they do when they’re simply pleased. This is something women do because… well Sir, that’s our culture. And that’s a WHOLE other discussion. But just trust me on this one. There’s way too many fake smiles out there. It’s something we actually all need to work on (being comfortable with showing our real feelings) but again, that’s a bigger (though connected) issue.

Now, brace yourselves.
Sometimes… the happiest, most ecstatic moments in life, render a woman’s face completely SMILE FREE. I know. Crazy. But it’s true (I’m an erotic & relationship coach, I know this).
Sometimes, our bodies register happiness in such a way that we are in relaxed, open awe… or even transported… feeling like we’re floating out in the Universe, and that might even make a particularly energetically sensitive woman UTTERLY STILL & nearly expressionless (even in deep soul-altering orgasm!!!). Maybe our face is in hot passionate focus, maybe wonder, maybe eyes-closed bliss, maybe even an ‘ugly’ smooshed or funny contorted mess. Maybe we smile with our eyes. Or our energy. Or our sexuality. Every woman is different and we all look different when we’re ‘happy’ (especially with that broad of a word).

SECOND and SUPER important…
I need YOU to do me a favor. Ask yourself (yes, right now) WHY you are ‘inviting’ women to smile.
Then dig deeper. Ask why again. And again, even deeper.
You might first think you simply want that woman to ‘be happy’ and you’ve (we now know INACCURATELY) attributed smiling to happiness.

Here’s the thing…
Happiness does not originate from an ‘invited’ (read: forced & disingenuous) smile. Nope. Sorry no. It don’t. Especially for women. Tony Robbins has a point about our posture & expression affecting us BUUUUUTTTTTT…. When asked to change something about our appearance by someone ELSE, it VERY VERY VERY RARELY makes us feel better. Culture, baby.

So… one could conclude, you are maybe ‘inviting’ a woman to smile… so that… YOU… can be a little more comfortable.

I know. Ouch. And you might be disagreeing here. That’s ok. I don’t have to be right here. I just want to leave room for the inquiry. A deeper look.

After all, we LOVE the masculines desire to see us happy! The primal drive to ‘fix’ and feel our satisfaction.
It calms your nervous system (that is less complex than ours). It allows you to put your full focus on other tasks. ‘Woman happy? CHECK! Next!’.
The problem is, it’s not actually MAKING us happy.
And you, trying to BYPASS what we ACTUALLY need & just telling yourself that if you get us to smile, your job is done… is kind of f*cked up. Sorry babe. I know.

- Women need to feel seen & heard.
- Smiling is a SUPER unreliable indicator of happiness.
- You telling us to smile makes us feel like we need to make YOU feel better.
- Then it feels EXTRA awful because not only do you want US to oblige YOU with a faux show of satisfaction, but now we feel like you don’t actually care to listen to us or try to make us ACTUALLY happy… you’re good with a facial expression & then you can disengage. IT’S A F*CKING BUMMER, MAN.
- When you ‘invite’ a STRANGER (woman) to smile, you can imagine how freaking WEIRD that is… like, dude, I’m just going about my business with my face & you have no connection to me or investment in my happiness. It is the emotional equivalent of flashing some skin. OH I SAID IT. Dear strangers, women don’t owe you a facial expression to please you. F*CKING KNOCK IT OFF. IT’S F*CKING CREEPY.

Don’t be creepy.

Neither a stranger, nor a friend, nor a partner OWES you a facial expression that isn’t what they’re currently feeling.
Asking for an expression otherwise is dehumanizing. Let me repeat that, asking for an expression other than what they’re genuinely displaying is dehumanizing. And we women, having a more complex nervous system and more access to different awarenesses & emotions, are going to be a bit more complicated than just ‘sad/happy’. Biology. Been this way since forever so you should probably just try to accept it.

If you want us to be happy… be the man we ARE happy to interact with. Be a man who respects us. Who can see beauty without attempting to own it or shame it. Be a man who allows people around him to be in whatever mood or activity they are in without attempting to change it for YOUR comfort. Be a man who if you ARE invested in our happiness, simply invites us to vent… listens as best he can & helps us feel seen & heard, not attempting to fix it for YOUR comfort.

Again, I know. It’s tough. We love your drive to come up with solutions. It’s SO necessary in SO many ways! But the one way it ISN’T of value, is when we need to simply talk. We need you to be that strong rock that we can emotionally crash against… who stands calm & steadfast, attention focused on us as we empty ourselves so that we can rest & recharge & begin to tackle the tasks of our lives once again.


It’s more valuable than all the quick-fix ideas in the world to us. And it’s against your nature… and I for one, will continue to remind my sisters to show SO much gratitude for every time a man does that tough thing… every time a man gives her his strong attention, instead of interrupts her &… asks her to smile.

Lastly… thank you. Thank you for being open minded enough to read about this. Thank you for allowing it. Thank you for being someone who considers their effect on people. Thank you for setting an example of examining new ideas and contemplating another way.

Thank you, Sir. This simple act is heroic.

08.13.13 { WIN!!!… a Seat at the STYLE + Soul Workshop! }

Melissa and I have decided we want our Workshop to be as much about Soul as it is about Style and so in the spirit of sharing and giving all we’ve got… we’d like to GIVE AWAY a seat in our Workshop (even if you’ve already registered b/c the winner will be chosen by a randomizing app)!

Instructions Below….
workshop seat giveaway

Here’s what you need to do to be entered to WIN:

1. Share (by clicking the Facebook ‘share’ button) our Boudoir On Film Facebook Post and ADD the hashtag #stylesoulworkshop (add your own heartfelt message if you’re moved to!). We’ll see when you share it publicly and enter you in the drawing to win. We LOVE to see your enthusiasm for the Workshop because we’re so in love with it, so please feel free to share as many times as you’d like on your page, group pages or friends pages but it must appear at least once on your page, visible to the ‘public’. You’ll be entered into the drawing for each time you post, up to 10 posts (we’re limiting it because we don’t want anyone to feel bombarded, we only want to spread the love!).

2. Tweet THIS LINK with the hashtags #stylesoulworkshop AND #boudoironfilm . Again, you’ll be entered each time you tweet the above, up to 10 times.

We will be collecting entries for ONLY TWO WEEKS, the deadline for entries is August 28th (my wedding anniversary!) at 9pm pacific time.

We will announce the WINNER on September 1st (Fashions ‘new year’)!!!
*Winning seat is not transferrable. Winning seat is for workshop seat only. If for any reason, the Workshop is rescheduled, the Winner will automatically have a seat for the re-set date.



About the Workshop….

STYLE + SOUL {How to Conceive & Create Images that Move You}

A photography workshop by Danielle Fletcher {photographer} and Melissa Hoffmann {hair & makeup artist}

*Film or Digital – don’t matter to me!
*NOT a strictly Boudoir Workshop. We’ll discuss it but it’s MORE about the creative process of putting together a portrait shoot.

Topics with Danielle:

~ Shoot Conception {how to plan & visualize the full look from location to light to styling}

~ Emotional Connection {how to tap into how & why you do what you do}

~ Client Connection {how to have a shoot YOU love by gaining trust}

~ Wardrobe Styling {how to use clothes & accessories to tell your story}

~ Re-Imagining Boudoir {how the way we photograph women impacts them, us, the industry & the world}

Topics with Melissa:

~ Hair + Makeup {Yep, Melissa will be TEACHING you many of the very same hair & makeup skills that I have her perform on shoots with me. You’ll get basics + great tips & tricks to take control of your shoots and get the look you want even if you have no professional artist with you. No more excuses!

~ Collaboration {together with Danielle, Melissa will be teaching you what you need to know if you’ve never worked with a makeup artist before or, if you currently work with an artist but aren’t seeing YOUR vision come to life}

BONUS Offer for Workshop Attendees Only

~ Create YOUR ‘Beauty Brand’ {Melissa is a master at helping women represent themselves AND their businesses by conceiving a personal style and teaching you how to create it yourself. Your Beauty Brand will blend seamlessly with your current or planned business branding so your can represent yourself AND your business the way you want. Attendees will have the opportunity to have a personal Beauty Brand session with Melissa for only $299 (regularly $1500). Limited to 3 sessions following the Workshop so make sure to book ASAP!}