Smile!

by - 8:52 PM


"Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody's heart."
- Anthony J. D'Angelo

According to Wikipedia, In physiology, a smile is a facial expression formed by flexing the muscles most notably near both ends of the mouth. The smile can be also around the eyes. Among humans, it's customarily an expression of pleasure, happiness, or amusement, but can also be an involuntary expression of anxiety, in which case it can be known as a grimace. There is much evidence that smiling is a normal reaction to certain stimuli and occurs regardless of culture. However, happiness is most often the cause of a smile. Among animals, the exposure of teeth, which may bear a resemblance to a smile, is often used as a threat or warning display - known as a snarl - or a sign of submission. In chimpanzees, it can be a sign of fear.

Researchers have identified two main varieties of smiles:

* The "Duchenne smile", after the researcher Guillaume Duchenne, is the most studied, and involves the movement of both the zygomaticus major muscle near the mouth and the orbicularis oculi muscle near the eyes. An example of the smile is shown in the girl's smile in the middle of the page. It is believed that the Duchenne smile is only produced as an involuntary response to genuine emotion, and is therefore what one could call the "genuine" smile. Due to the involvement of the muscle near the eyes, it is sometimes said that one can tell whether or not a smile is "real" by whether or not it "reaches the eyes".

* The "Pan American smile", on the other hand, is the voluntary smile involving only the zygomaticus major muscle to show politeness; for example, by a flight attendant on the former airline of the same name. Considered "insincere", this type of smile has also been called the "Professional Smile" by David Foster Wallace in his comedic short story "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again".

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