There’s a piece of artwork in the cozy New York City restaurant The Smile that reads: “If you’re happy and you know it, keep it to yourself.”
But should you? According to science, the answer is no. Smiling makes you more beautiful.
When we’re young, we smile at practically everything (from your dad making silly faces to slap-stick cartoons to a new toy). Then somewhere between adolescence and adulthood, some of us start to grin less often. But here’s a reason to beam: Research shows that finding that genuine smile again may be a better beauty makeover than revamping your wardrobe revamp or splurging on an expensive haircut.
In studies, subjects judge smiling faces as more attractive—the “reward regions” of the brain even light up in response to a grin. People also think you’re more sincere and competent with a smile on. That may be thanks to the “Halo Effect,” where having one good quality makes people assume you have a host of other beautiful qualities.
And that may be true. “People who smile are often friendlier, have a better sense of humor and are more socially engaging,” says YouBeauty Psychology Advisor Art Markman, Ph.D. What’s more, research also shows that women with a “duchenne smile” (a genuine smile where the eyes crinkle up) in their high school yearbook picture had better marriages and overall wellbeing 30 years later.
So if we smiled more often would we appear more attractive? And would people think our personalities were as glowing as our grins?
Experiment: Smiling More Vs. Less
We did some very unscientific research to see how smiling plays out in everyday life. The question: If I were to smile more than usual, would people smile back and approach me? Would I get treated differently when I wasn’t grinning?
If shopping for eye makeup is one big guessing game, find your best colors here.
Highlight your eye color. Flaunt your body shape. Harness your confidence. Take our quizzes to better know yourself and get science-based, individualized advice to embrace your true beauty.
If shopping for eye makeup is one big guessing game, find your best colors here.Take Quiz
Define your curves and discover the best ways to eat, exercise and dress for your figure.Take Quiz
Find out how your relationship personality is affecting you and the people you love.Take Quiz
Find out for sure to best interact and deal with others.Take Quiz