Beth can’t smile for photos

Just today I did this survey: Can you spot the real smiles from the fake?

Real smiles and fake smiles come from different triggers in the brain. A real smile is unconscious. That’s why different muscles – especially around the eyes – move during real smiles, but often not with a fake smile.

Which is why my two-year-old daughter can’t smile for photos. She tries, of course, but she does an all-teeth exposed grimace instead. It’s a little disconcerting.


But it does mean one thing.

All my two-year-old’s smiles are genuine.

Every time she sees me, every time she smiles, it is from actual pleasure. What can I say? I love it. I love that idea.


Did you do the test? How many did you get right?


6 thoughts on “Beth can’t smile for photos

  1. 16/20 What a great quiz.

    I HATE fake smiles, and although I love taking photos, and at work take at least 30 a day, if I spot a cheesy fake smile, I won’t take the photo.
    It’s also I suspect why I loathe those horrid school photos I’m charged great amounts of money for each year.

  2. I encounter the fake smile dilemma with my kids too. I overcome it by getting them to do something ridiculous – like screaming loudly at the camera for as long as they can – and then I take the photo when they inevitably collapse in giggles. For older kids, saying something borderline scandalous has the same effect … like “Hey kids, do you think Dad wipes his bottom properly? CLICK!” Dirty but effective 😉

  3. 14/20.

    I can always tell when P-Daddy is fake smiling – his dimples don’t show up! When he smiles properly, he gets these big dimples in both cheeks, but if he’s just being polite then they’re not there. Very handy. 🙂

  4. 16/20 for me.

    All the ones I got wrong were a the beginning, once I got to number 8 I got everything right from there. Interesting, I thought.

    I like Beth’s fake smile. It’s funny.

    I used to be a really bad fake smiler, I think I’ve gotten better with age. I can even make my dimple appear now! Still learning to smize without smiling, though, currently if you take a pic of me when I’m not smiling (or pulling a silly face like in my avatar pic) I look really sad.

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