Tess Christian's female friends look the picture of merriment when they get together for their frequent Friday nights out in a local restaurant. Champagne flows, the conversation gets steadily more raucous and peals of laughter hang over their table. Not even a flicker of a smile, let alone a laugh, escapes her lips.
Scroll down for video. Tess Christian, 50, pictured does not allow a flicker of a smile to pass her lips, and hasn't for almost 40 years, in an attempt to ward off wrinkles. This is because Tess says that maintaining a perennial poker face is a crucial way to keeping her — admittedly, impressive — youthful looks.
My strategy is more natural than Botox and more effective than any expensive beauty cream or facial. Tess says she has trained herself to control her facial muscles.
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Even celebrities such as U. And some experts believe that this bizarre trick might work. Undoubtedly, there are some actresses who have retrained their facial expressions to this end. Not smiling is a DIY option, although I would have thought it difficult to keep up, not to mention boring for your partner and confusing for your children.
So, is a life full of laughter really worth sacrificing for the sake of a few lines? Tess, who works as a cooking instructor for a vegetable produce company, thinks so. I love life. Tess, 43, left pictured with her daughter Stevie, 16, right. Tess says she has learned to control her facial muscles to stop herself from smiling. Instead, it was a reaction to the strict Catholic school she attended. By the time she reached adulthood, she realised a sombre expression suited her.
I looked up to old-school Hollywood icons such as Marlene Dietrich for inspiration; she never smiled and I loved the way she smouldered glamorously. Tess, left aged 23 yrs, in Tess says although she was overjoyed when her daughter was born and when she got married, she kept a straight face the whole time. Staying tight-lipped required effort at first, however. She met her ex-husband Nigel, now 54, a photographer, at a bar in and they had a daughter, Stevie, in March She and Nigel married in February I found it hilarious, but kept a straight face. I never crack. Tess is pictured here in , aged The men she dates, meanwhile, often ask her to smile.
But London-based psychologist Amanda Hills says smiling is crucial to our mental health.
Tess, pictured in Gordon's Wine Bar in , says her pet hate is men calling out 'Cheer up, love, it might never happen'. Studies have shown you can increase happiness by smiling, even if you feel unhappy, which is why some medical professionals treating depression tell patients to practice smiling in the mirror. And just as smiling attracts people, looking miserable is likely to deter them — which obviously risks making you feel miserable, even if you were happy in the first place.
A textile designer from Hastings, Sussex, she started curtailing the amount she smiled five years ago after splitting up with her partner of eight years, with whom she has a son, Hayden, nine. She was inspired by a yoga class she attended when newly single. Vicky Kidd, 38, noticed the lines on her face increasing five years ago and decided to limit the amount of time she spent smiling. Vicky Kidd, pictured left aged 19, and right aged 6, on holiday in Devon. Unlike Tess, she is prepared to bend her rules.
And most people tell me I look much younger as a result.
But there are also experts who disagree about the anti-ageing benefits. Julia Anastasiou teaches face yoga — a form of facial massage designed to keep skin line-free by stimulating the muscles underneath. And so it became really important to me that I bring together people who were thinking similarly as I was thinking about this and start to create something that would give voice to Christians who were not satisfied with this being the reputation of Jesus. And so Q became an event that we do once a year.
Online qideas. I mean, most of us have gone through the experience of taking something old that was broken down and the hard work of trying to get it back to what its original design was, and I think that best describes how Christians are thinking today. And we need to embody that, we need to live that and express that. What does that word hold for you?
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A lot of those figures you talk about, Jerry Falwell, Dr. They lived in a different country than we live in today. You know, Judeo-Christian values were commonly agreed upon. I mean, this is what we do and generally the culture embraces those things. To have those things slip away, I can understand in part why they engage vigorously in that area.
What does this change? But tell me what this works in you. What difference does that make? DALY: I think the one thing that it does bring about in terms of change is just tone. I mean, as Christians, we want to follow those. I mean, Focus on the Family has been working to overturn Roe vs. Wade , has been in the forefront of that. How do we care for children? I think that is a majority of people.
I think that, when you look at the issue of abortion in this country, more than 50 percent now consider it immoral, that we need to do better. I think it would be wonderful if we could find solutions. Although there is a choice, can we choose life more often? And if we can find a way to allow more children to come in this world, I think everybody wins. Did you accept the invitation to the Shame Award? DALY: Well, it was funny.
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He would be self-described as a pretty strong liberal. I remember the first time we sat and talked.
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If you know church history, that is one of the things the early church engaged. And so for us in this country, with all that we have, particularly the Christian community, to be able to engage that, so over a couple of years, we were able to get that number down from kids waiting to about That was the most progress that had been made on that issue in the state for a long time.
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No, here has not frozen over. Our publisher, John Weiss, realized that there was at least one issue on which Focus and the Indy can agree. We want all kids to grow up in a loving home. But the news of it was Focus on the Family and the Independent working together. You know, you talk about internal discussions among younger evangelicals, that the question gets framed like this, how to remain biblically faithful yet credible in a post-Christian culture.
How can Christians who care deeply about traditional marriage — and would you describe yourself that way — move forward in this new era? And so you lay that out there and you also said this pretty provocative thing. We have to look back to our own marriages, to our own communities, to our own faith communities, and say what are we doing about marriage amongst ourselves?
I mean, little practical steps that we can be taking that puts the emphasis back on our own marriages and back on families, I think, is critical. And Jim, the story that you tell in your new book is with a prominent gay activist. DALY: On purpose. We have a woman that comes in to clean the offices, and she kept moving the number next to my phone.
No note takers, just the two of us. And it was profound.
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Then I said, what do I do now? But it was human. There was — he told me a beautiful story about being raised in a Catholic family and his dad being 85 going to Mass every day. That was just one of the high points. And I think that in a nutshell describes what Gabe and I are talking about. DALY: No, no. This is probably one of the most difficult topics in the culture today. It is very volatile. We know it exists. That is not the God that Gabe and I know. And somehow we have got to address that.