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Smile with your eyes

Real joy is defined by the Duchenne smile, when your eyes crinkle up as well.

Smiles come in all shades, from the polite and slightly friendly smile that air hostesses wear on the job, to the approachable smile, the smug smile, the half smile... the list goes on. The most genuine smile of all however is known as the Duchenne smile — it comes from the eyes and is known to have an unusually strong effect those who see it.
The smile is named after French neurologist Guillaume-Benjamin Duchenne, who in the 1860s, actually used electrical current to discover which facial muscles contract in a genuine smile. Duchenne found that people could raise the zygomaticus major muscle around the corner of the lips at will. This translates to: fake smiles can be performed at will, because the brain signals that create them come from the conscious part of the brain.
However, Duchenne said that the brain could not voluntarily contract the orbicularis oculi muscles around the eyes. This means that the brain needs happy signals to wake up those little 'oculi' - signals that are beyond our conscious control.
So, the crow's feet you produce when you're smiling happily signify you are smiling genuinely, which is undoubtedly why faces with a lot of Botox tend to produce fake-looking smiles!


Stop being self-conscious about your smile: if you're preoccupied with the colour of your teeth, or think your gums are too promiment, you may actually subconsciously stifle your smile as you feel embarrassed. Going in for dental work may give you some confidence, but remember that it's the characteristic wrinkles around your eyes that actually tell people you're smiling!


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