#CarefreeBlackBoy: Our Favorite Images Of Famous Black Men Cheesing

November 1, 2016  |  
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I was having a conversation earlier with a colleague about a picture of a particular fellow that confused us. He was posing alongside his fiancée for a picture with their newborn child. And while his partner brought out her happiest smile to celebrate the arrival of her firstborn, the father didn’t. Instead, he posed for the picture in the way that we see many handsome men, particularly Black men, pose for photographs, which is to stare at the camera and show off a strong jawline.

No grin. No smirk. No flash of teeth.

And while you could possibly blame it on social media, which encourages our selfie-obsessed culture to give fierce and cool faces when we take pictures, my co-worker and I discussed how very few images there are of Black men outright smiling in general. I’m talking about joyfully smiling for the camera or for the people around them. Clearly there’s a desire for these types of carefree images, as #BlackBoyJoy went viral in September, displaying men dancing, smiling — the whole lot. No, what you’re about to see isn’t an attempt to encourage people to smile in the creepy way men often tell us womenfolk to do when we’re walking down the street. Instead, it is to say that when we do get to see Black men giving toothy, full-belly laugh smiles, including some of the most popular Black males out there, it’s a beautiful thing.

Chance the Rapper

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Myself crush Monday

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Kanye West

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Famous. 📸 @orlando_dito

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Mahershala Ali

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Idris Elba

Michael B. Jordan

Morris Chestnut

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"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight". – P. Diller

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LL Cool J

Childish Gambino


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