“A smile is the best makeup any girl can wear.” –Marilyn Monroe
Whether the timeless Marilyn actually said it or if it’s just been apocryphally attributed to her in our Internet age, research proves that this truism is correct.
A Smile Is Your Best Outfit
In a commercial study conducted by Wrigley’s gum in the UK, 1000 people were shown pictures of a woman either wearing makeup but not smiling or smiling but not wearing makeup. About 70% of them said the smiling picture was more attractive. There was some gender difference, though, with only 66% of men saying the smiling image was more attractive and 73% of women saying the smiling one was more attractive.
And the impact of a smile goes beyond just attractiveness. People were also asked to rate the character of the individual in the picture, labeling them with different attributes. The smiling image was characterized as:
But the nonsmiling image tended to be characterized in more hostile terms, such as:
Strange that confident and successful would show up in the same place in both rankings, but I guess those are things that can be conveyed both with smiling and nonsmiling faces. So don’t worry that a smile makes you look less professional–it doesn’t.
And smiling accomplishes something else that cosmetics companies use to try to sell their products: it makes you look younger. People rated the smiling image as “youthful” more consistently, putting it in their top three characteristics 41% of the time, compared to only 25% of the time for the nonsmiling image.
What’s Keeping You from Smiling?
The problem is that, even if we know its benefits, not all of us are comfortable smiling all the time. Discolored teeth, chipped teeth, and crooked teeth often make us feel self-conscious about our smiles. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry has solutions for all your cosmetic problems, such as teeth whitening or porcelain veneers.