“Smize” is a portmanteau word, the result of blending “smile” with “eyes”. The term was coined in 2009 by Tyra Banks, the American TV personality, who urged the models on her show to do it, “smize”, let the smile reach your eyes.
It’s the way to go in a pandemic, when we’re masked and unable to show our appreciation of someone’s kindness or consideration, or to simply indicate that we are friendly and non-threatening.
Some say the smile is the subtlest form of communication available to human beings. In fact that’s the claim recently advanced by ‘The Economist’ newspaper’s sister magazine ‘1843’.
But I would argue that the smize tops it. Unlike the smile, which can be insincere or forced, the smize only works with genuine emotion.
Consider Ms Banks’ guide to executing a masked smize:
“Think of someone you love…someone that fills your heart with joy. Now imagine they are standing in front of you. Begin to smile, and not a blank smile that only involves the mouth. Smile with your entire soul. Even though your mouth is covered by a mask, that person on the receiving end will truly feel your kindness through your eyes…and they just might smize right back at you. The synchrosmise”.
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) March 2, 2018