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Smiles and music seem to go together. Many songwriters and singers like James Taylor, Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, The Bee Gees and others have written about and sung songs that described words indicating “smiles make the world go round.”
Picture a child smiling to his or her grandparents, or a husband’s smile when he receives a gift from his family. A smile from a little boy who was just given a toy car will show an ear-to-ear grin.
The first known explanation of a smile was said to be in the 14th century. Research at that time showed that flexing the muscles on the sides of one’s mouth generally affected pleasure and approval. As time moved forward the smile was studied by different scientists. One scientist stated that a smile is actually a scientific fact. The happiness level that a smile can bring will have an effect on one’s brain. A British scientist did a study on smiles concluding that “smiling can reduce blood pressure, lower stress hormones and generate the same level of brain stimulation as 2,000 bars of chocolate.”
If one was to study old photos from the 19th and early 20th century you would notice that people at that time did not smile when having their picture taken. That was because they had to sit still due to a long exposure time so the picture would not be blurry.
Photography today changed and improved greatly. People are always taking pictures on their phones and smiling a lot, especially when they pose for selfies.
Everyone has different reasons to smile. Some smile because they are truly happy. Others smile when there is a social reason or if others were pleased to see them. There are more complex emotions where a smile helps to put people at ease. People also show their smiles to hide fear or lying.
Hollywood stars, artists and famous people have been named and or described by their smile. There is a lot of conversations regarding Mona Lisa’s smile. She is considered a lady with a mystic smile that is a kind of sideway looks-up smile. Men have considered her smile masculine while women find it somewhat friendly. Jackie Kennedy is considered the woman with the most pictures taken of her smiling than any other famous person. Some consider her smile to have some of the similarities of the Mona Lisa smile. Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have beautiful smiles. Kerry Washington has a grin that makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy. Meryl Streep’s smile makes everyone around her smile too. Natalie Dormer from “Game of Thrones” has a lopsided smile that makes her look like she is always smirking. Hollywood has dubbed Julia Roberts as the Queen of Smiles.
Smiling is what we all do automatically, and that is why it is believed that our facial expressions are hardwired into our genes. With that knowledge, everyone should be able and happy to keep smiling.
Sheila Sarrett is a freelance and grant writer living in Boynton Beach.