Ever heard the expression, “resting bitch face”.
Yep, you know the face, not just any face but that face, as if looks could kill.
Victoria Beckham springs to mind – oh sorry Victoria we do love you, it’s just well, you get the picture right?
Research has found that our facial expressions involuntarily reflect our emotions, they can intensify or even directly influence our mood.
Frowning makes you sadder, and showing no expression makes your emotions less intense.
There are 6 universal facial expressions
Apparently, our facial expressions really do convey our emotions:
A 2015 study used a computer program designed to read facial expressions, what they found was that people with so-called resting b*tch face, have double that amount of underlying emotions as other facial emotions.
These are usually in the form of contempt. So next time your girlfriend throws that look, you can rest safely in the knowledge that resting b*tch face actually exists.
There is actually a science behind smiling
There really is we are not kidding. Have you ever looked at a photo of someone smiling and noticed that despite this, they still appeared totally miserable? It’s a bit like the expression – ‘the smile never lit up their eyes’.
Interestingly, this is because fake smiles are surprisingly easy to recognize, to the point where psychologists have pinpointed the exact muscles that are used to create these fake smiles:
Genuine smiles: They are referred to as Duchenne smiles, the name is credited to the French doctor who discovered them. They involve the involuntary and voluntary contraction of major muscles in our face; the zygomaticus – our cheekbones, and orbicularis oculi – the muscles that orbit our eyes.
Fake smiles: These on the other hand, just use the voluntary contraction of the zygomatic muscles, leaving you as the onlooker, with a sense that something well, is just a little bit off with that person.
Did you know you might be genetically disposed to smile more?
Are you little Miss poker-faced, even when confronted with a video of kittens that have a brain freeze? Apologies; harsh, we know – but you get the message, right? Well, apparently there could be a genetic explanation for your stony face
Whilst personality, upbringing, and Culture are all mitigating factors, interesting research from the University of Michigan suggests that the manifestation of a certain gene can deeply affect the depth of our emotions.
Those who have shorter versions of this gene tended to smile and laugh more often, whilst those who have the longer version of the gene, are less likely to express themselves in such a way – wow fascinating right?
And did you know that smiling doesn’t just improve the mood of the person you are smiling with? Apparently, the very act of seeing someone else smile, broadly can lower aggression in us.
And what’s more, research has found that laughter really is contagious; when we hear someone laughing out loud, our brain prepares certain muscles in our face to smile.
Now I think you would agree, that’s sure is something to smile about.