Tuesday, June 28, 2016

When You're Smiling

I'm Princess Lea, right? Even so, I did not initially "get" the video with Chewbacca Mom. She's just laughing. Prefaced, yes, by a cute although not knee-slapping soliloquy about the joys of toy-ownership (to which I heartily concur), but enough to get her own Wiki entry? 
But then I "got" it.

She's laughing—un-self-consciously and wholeheartedly. She's not worried what she looks like to confused passerby. She's not obsessing if others will see her as ridiculous. She is not at all concerned that her kids (or husband) will be embarrassed to be seen with her in public. 

Candace Payne bought a Chewbacca sound-effect mask. She's delighted with her purchase. Without reserve. 

She's happy.

This is the stuff of Brené.

Payne entitled the video, "It's the simple joys in life . . ." and darn-tooting, it is. 
This article by Amanda Hess comments on the phenomenon, but laughing videos in general get a lot of buzz. 
“This grown woman is using a mask that’s supposed to be for kids,” Mr. Warren said. But when we see the pure, childlike joy it produces in Ms. Payne, a stay-at-home mother from Grand Prairie, Tex., the event feels gloriously silly instead of pathetic. When laughter itself is the transgression, the videos pack a one-two punch. It’s not normal for a woman to laugh to herself at length in a crowded subway car, but it’s harmless, so as her laughing fit continues, others can’t help joining her. . . 
Online videos feel particularly intimate because they largely feature amateurs, are unscripted and are filmed up close and by hand. Ms. Payne “is a pleasant and attractive person to whom we freely lend our sympathies,” said Carl Plantinga, a professor of film and media at Calvin College who studies the psychology of cinema. “Her enthusiasm seems to be genuine and kind.”
And because she’s filming herself in close-up, her emotions are front and center — even once she puts on the mask, you can see her eyes glistening in delight. “Sympathetic viewers will involuntarily mimic her facial expressions, leading to emotional contagion,” Mr. Plantinga said. The use of Facebook Live — which streams live video instantly, with no opportunity to edit or scratch a take — only draws the viewer in closer.
Being happy—or even acting happy—is deliciously freeing. Not caring about "looking stupid" means one never does.    


Altie said...

I watched the video only when it didn't stop popping up in my news feed. I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I stopped after a bit and can't say that I found it funny. I find it interesting that this one video produced whole studies and articles, and a Wikipedia page?! I would think we have better things to focus on.

I like how you tie it back to Brene Brown. :) Always Brene.

Princess Lea said...

It's always Brene.