Soooooo for my first blog post, I think the book “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell, is a good starting point.
First off, he is an awesome writer, perfect story-teller and an amazing guy to explain the smallest, hardest to get ideas. But one thing caught my attention, it was about smiling. Reading this tiny fraction of the book, maybe three paragraphs, made me realize so much.
Ever since I started at the local technical school, one of my instructors has always been full of interesting tid-bits of everything. He’s helped explain so much to me that I had always thought random, things or things that I had never even noticed. This made me think of him.
Gladwell explained that when we are genuinely happy, we smile different from when we take pictures. One of the people he talked about in his book Blink explained this in detail, but here’s the breakdown.
You’re face is filled with muscles, ones that we can’t even move when we try. Sure not all of us can wiggle our ears, form a three leaf clover with our tongues, or raise just one eyebrow, but this is different. No one can use these muscles voluntarily. Two of these are the muscles surrounding your eyes.
When you smile because you’re happy, you just laughed, or whatever the reason
as long as it’s genuine, you use these two muscles around your eyes. It wrinkles you’re eyes in a way that you can’t do even if you tried. So when you falsely smile, you don’t use these muscles.
Which explains alllll my life. Or at least part of it. For portraits, family pictures, or senior pictures, my photographer, mom, girlfriend, friends, and just about anyone else, does not like the smile in my pictures. They see right away that it’s a fake smile. No matter how I tried to pull my lips back, open my mouth a little bit more, or squint my eyes, it never was the same.
And that is because my eye muscles that move when I smile, are so prominent and noticeable, that when they don’t contract, it’s easy to recognize. They, as in the picture viewer, automatically see that it’s a bad smile because it’s not a real smile.
I digress, but I urge anyone out there to pick up, or The Tipping
Point for that matter, by Malcolm Gladwell, and I’m sure you will not regret it.