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Kanye West on the real reason he never smiles

After years of speculation the rapper/designer has explained why he sports a perma-pout for the paparazzi (and it’s not dissimilar to Victoria Beckham’s)

There are some questions that will never be answered: Who are we? Where are we going? And why does Kanye West never smile? While we can’t help with the first two – the human condition, lol! – Kanye West has himself, finally, answered the last one, stating his inspiration is twofold. First, “paintings in an old castle” and second, to mock the very monsters who first identified the phenomenon: the paparazzi.

“Back when I was working on Yeezus,” he tells a reporter at High Snobiety, “I saw this book from the 1800s and it was velvet-covered with brass and everything. I looked at all these people’s photos, and they look so real, and their outfits were incredible, and they weren’t smiling. People, you know, the paparazzi, always come up to me: ‘Why you not smiling?’ And I think, not smiling makes me smile. When you see paintings in an old castle, people are not smiling because it just wouldn’t look as cool.”

Olivia Foster, a writer who set up a Tumblr called Sad Kanye in 2012 because “everyone gets sad sometimes”, has long believed the real reason West never smiles is because he is, in essence, a rebel – “Kanye doesn’t seem to be a man who does what people want him to do” – believes it might also be linked to a car accident in 2002 in which West had reconstructive surgery on his face, and which inspired his song, Through the Wire.

Kanye West, not smiling

Kanye West, not smiling Photograph: Paul Morigi/FilmMagic

Celebrities who don’t smile has become a long-running bugbear of the press. Kristen Stewart, Sean Penn and particularly the British designer Victoria Beckham are among the most infamous. In previous interviews, Beckham has given several reasons, most recently telling Vogue: “I’m smiling on the inside but I feel I have a responsibility to the fashion community”. That responsibility? To be aloof, apparently.

Stewart, meanwhile, told Hello magazine last summer that smiling would be tantamount to selling out:I feel like if I smiled for a paparazzi photo—not that I ever would—that’s exactly what people would be desecrating me for”. Of course, the real reason celebrities don’t smile is because it would be impossible to spend every waking moment with a grin on their face, and because smiling makes you look warm and/or approachable rather than alpha and cheekbone-y. But who would admit to that?

Source: The Guardian

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