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The secrets behind the smile

Written by
5th July 2013

It’s not hard to tell when someone is smiling a genuine smile. A Duchenne Smile activates the muscles around the eyes as well as the mouth so that the whole face comes alive. Named after the French neurologist who conducted research into smiling, the real or joyful smile has also been proven to trigger positive responses in the brain of the recipient.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of a smile that simply makes our day.
So, what are the secrets behind some of the most seductive?

The Sultry Smile
Lauren Bacall was a master of the classic sultry gaze, with her head slightly down-turned and tilted to one side, eyes gazing up with mouth closed. It was discovered in an interview with People Magazine that her seductive smile was covering up a deep insecurity – she believed she had “crooked teeth.” If she was a star today,she would almost undoubtedly have lingual orthodontics!

The Coy Smile

Princess Diana’s smile was known to portray a certain innocence and coyness. She was called shy Di, and her smile was unlike the artificial royal smile that people were used to. Her smile also sent a powerful, seductive signal, capturing the hearts of men and the admiration of women all over the world.

The Real Deal

Marilyn Munroe smiled with gusto and pizzazz. A beautiful, genuine smile – the muscles around the eyes contracted involuntarily and a slight fold developed at the brows. She smiled with her mouth open, achieving maximum wattage and joie de vivre.

Mona Lisa’s Smile

The most famous smile of all belongs to Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Her ‘barely there’ smile creates a certain mystique and captures the imagination, as we wonder what lies behind that smile? Or could it be as simple as wanting to hide some seriously decayed teeth?

The Madonna Smile

Madonna is famous for her gap-tooth smile, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis are also known for their  flawed smile. Sometimes flaws are seen as character enhancing and like the gap-tooth smile – a must-have fashion accessory.

The Gracious Smile

Queen Victoria was renowned for looking permanently grim-faced and unamused. However, seriousness before the camera in the 19th century was considered fashionable and Queen Victoria was reported to have had a great sense of humour and a lovely smile, which lit up her whole face. In private, therefore, Queen Victoria might have been a bit of a Marilyn Munroe, without the peroxide and red lipstick, of course.

The Smile of Joy

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s fictional creation, Jay Gatsby, now personified by Leonardo di Caprio in the film The Great Gatsby, knew precisely how to win people over with his infectious smile, wonderfully described here through the eyes of the narrator Nick Carraway:

He smiled understandingly–much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.



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