If there’s one truism we live by, it’s that a sense of joy can always be found, no matter how small. Which is why we’ve collaborated with Colgate Max White Ultimate on their new #PoutFree campaign: a celebration of the freedom, delight and confidence that a simple smile can bring. While there’s no such thing as perfect, a #PoutFree smile is all about being yourself, feeling great and putting your best foot – or smile – forward.
As part of their smile celebrations, Colgate launched a competition for people to nominate special individuals in their lives to give them an opportunity to put on their biggest smile and take centre stage, full of confidence, for a series of #PoutFree portraits. We went BTS at the Colgate #PoutFree shoot to meet these 10 remarkable people, all with compelling stories to tell. While being photographed by the queen of portraits, Alexandra Cameron, they also had model and body positivity activist Charli Howard on hand to share tips on how to feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera while they gave their biggest smiles.
Finding extraordinary moments in the ordinary, we asked them who or what keeps them smiling, come rain or shine. For some, smiling was because of adorable new pets; for others, it was appreciating life’s little moments that we often take for granted. From smiles that make your cheeks ache to raucous laughter that you can’t control, Colgate Max White Ultimate can help people find the confidence to open up and smile wide. Smiles are personal and powerful, and we want to ensure that this is the year you keep on smiling.
Susanna & Daisy
Susanna, cofounder of sustainable fashion brand Birdsong, nominated her best friend Daisy, who works as an assistant producer at Radio 1. Susanna said that Daisy is an inspiration for landing her dream career without having the traditional support and resources to break into the hugely competitive broadcasting industry.
DAISY: Smiling makes me feel relaxed and happy. My friends make me smile and that says I’m having a good time and feeling carefree when I’m around them. For a #PoutFree smile, just relax, have a good time and don’t focus too much on the photographer!
SUSANNA: Smiling is always flattering and it makes me feel comfortable. Not worrying too much about what you look like and chatting to people around you are my best tips for feeling good in front of the camera – you have to ease into it.
Oscar & Charlie
Oscar nominated his wife, Charlie, who deserves to smile after battling a rare chronic illness. The pandemic began just after Charlie's recovery from lifesaving neurosurgery and she had to shield for a year. Not one to let anything get in her way, Charlie creates art about her experiences and is studying medical humanities to advocate for more equality for disabled people.
CHARLIE: My smile normally means that Oscar is in the room. Whenever we've been in a difficult situation he's managed to get a smile out of me. I feel energised when I smile and I love that it's infectious.
OSCAR: Smiling makes me feel on top of the world and I love that it makes other people smile. My smile says that I’m a happy, free-spirited type of person – always there to have a good time. Being calm and relaxed helps to take a good picture when smiling – you have to do what works for you. I was being in the moment and just having fun.
Selina & Jo
Best friends Selina and Jo have years of memories that always make them smile. Selina nominated Jo, who has been busy growing a beauty brand, pursuing her passions as a chef and putting in hard work on her vegetable garden *as well as* a full-time job. Selina wanted to give her a reason to smile now and every time she looks at the photos for years to come.
SELINA: Josephine always makes me smile, she's full of joy! What made me smile today was thinking about all our pre-pandemic adventures and mischief we got up to. My smile says that I genuinely love to laugh. Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it but when you smile it naturally lifts your mood.
JO: Selina makes me laugh because she knows how to throw a good party – I think everyone would smile more with more dancing and disco! My smile says that I’m very uninhibited and I love smiling because life can be hard sometimes and it’s nice to remember the good times.
Vikki & Whitney
Vikki wanted her friend Whitney to see how beautiful she truly is. Family, friends and reminiscing on all the laughs they’ve shared are the key to get them smiling. Not sure how to smile in photos? A #PoutFree smile for Vikki and Whitney means always smiling with teeth.
VIKKI: Whenever we’re together, we’re always smiling and laughing. I felt a bit nervous having my photo taken but it was so much fun! I feel good about my smile and I always smile with my teeth because I don’t know how not to! My smile says that I’m happy, having a good time and enjoying myself.
WHITNEY: Vikki makes me smile. When we were taking the photos, I was thinking a lot about previous holidays we've had and all of the fun times we've had together. I don’t have a very good pout face, so smiling with teeth has always been my go-to.
Celia & Alex
Alex nominated her best friend Celia because she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and Alex wanted to give her a much-needed treat. Having a #PoutFree smile for them both was about being authentic, feeling confident and staying in the moment.
CELIA: Whether it’s being with friends, family or having a cocktail on a rooftop, the little things that we often take for granted put a smile on my face and I appreciate those moments. Enjoy yourself when smiling for photos – do what feels natural and don’t think about it too much.
ALEX: Seeing my kids smile makes me smile. It can be nerve-wracking having your photo taken but smiles are contagious. Sometimes making light of a hard situation or just finding the silver lining is a really good way to make someone smile.