Duchenne SMILE :-)


I used to once feel that people have no time to smile.  And I always remember a poem by William H Davies which reads in between…

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began

A poor life this if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare

Of late it gives a feeling people have all the time in the world to smile, except that most of the times it is fake.  Somehow today there seems to be a need for the “fake smile” more than before.  Job interviews, networking events, dinner parties (not family) are some of occasions where you can find fakes.  People have understood smiling is very important, but it is just not easy to create one when you want it, so smile is faked.  Fake smile sometimes is used to hide real emotions.

While conducting research on the physiology of facial expressions in the mid-19th century, French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne identified two distinct types of smiles. A Duchenne smile involves contraction of both the zygomatic major muscle (which raises the corners of the mouth) and the orbicularis oculi muscle (which raises the cheeks and forms crow’s feet around the eyes). More recent research suggests that smiling in which the muscle around the eye contracts, raising the cheeks high (Duchenne smiling), is uniquely associated with positive emotion.”

My Minds eye: Purnima Varadrajan: Gautam:Genuine Smile

Three checks to spot the “Duchenne” smile 🙂

1. high raised cheeks
2. contracted eyes
3. bottom row of teeth not visible ( for most people)

[photo of most genuine smile: Gautam-my sister’s darling son 🙂 ]

So absence of any one of it is a fake smile. The Pan Am smile – non-Duchenne smile-, also known as the “Botox smile”, is the name given to a fake smile, in which only the zygomatic major muscle is voluntarily contracted to show politeness. It is named after the now-defunct airline Pan American World Airways, whose flight attendants would always flash every jet-setter the same perfunctory smile. 

There is another truth to fake smiles, they just come out of a flash and can disappear in seconds.  They begin in the lips and end there.  Genuine takes a while to appear and lasts longer.  You just cant make a genuine smile disappear at will.   Genuine smiles begin in the eyes, moves to the lips and remains in the eyes, long after its disappearing from the lips.

Have you ever noticed a genuine smile reaches the other person, even on a phone? Check out the “hi” with a genuine smile.

A smile cost nothing, but gives much.

It enriches those who receive,
without making poorer those who give.
It takes but a moment,
but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

Just wondering if fake smile have become a necessary evil in today’s living? Next time you want to fake a smile, wait a while and see if your eyes can beget a genuine one?

Courtesy: wikipedia



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