What 'Real' Women Laugh Like


Duckfaces? Meh. High camera angels to hide those chins? Overdone. Emotionless expressions? Boring. Show me that big, beautiful, boisterous laugh of yours, woman! Let your happiness take up space - let it light up the world.

As a freshman in college (back in 2015), I found myself utterly frustrated with the one-dimensional way in which the media portrayed women; most of what you’d see in magazines and advertisements would be young, skinny, women with bored or emotionless looks on their faces.

Then I realized, the media wasn’t the only place I came across such images. Scrolling through the countless selfies and profile pics on social media, I realized many of us women were contributing to our own objectification by posting similarly beautified and emotionless pictures of ourselves. Where are the laughs?

It got me thinking about women and laughing in general. In my experience, girls and women tend to dislike their laughing face - they often suppress it, or cover their mouths with their hands. This is not common with men - try to picture your brother/ dad/ male friend laughing loudly with their hands in front of their faces... Exactly. 

Girls are simultaneously told to smile, but not laugh, giving the idea that teeth and wrinkles are not feminine, are not beautiful. Well, I thoroughly disagree with that.

To address this gender-related phenomenon in a direct way, and to show women how beautiful their laughing faces can actually be, I created this photo series of women who’ll show you their BEST laughing-out-loud faces, and talk about their own thoughts and feelings when it comes to expressing joy and being a women (click on the pictures to read the quotes).

I hope they make you smile.


This series is part of a dual photography project aimed at combating gender stereotypes. Check out the other half of the project, ‘What “Real” Men Cry Like’, here.