Gordon Smith

Want to look forever young? Start looking miserable now

Approx Reading Time-10The fountain of youth does exist. Unfortunately, its true location lies on the borders of the duckface.

 

 

 

 

When you smile, you release powerful endorphins, almost guaranteeing a mood pick-me-up.

Not only that, but those pearly whites also help making you seem approachable, and generally happy.

But, all that self-serving happiness comes at a price.

For you to even think that you should show the world that your insides are in fact not filled with sorrow, you will be punished by looking a solid three-and-a-half years older.

Is this leading into some long-winded rant by our generational forbearers, about how only those who have spent enough years on this earth can truly be happy, just as only they can truly be homeowners?

Hardly.

Once more biology has proven itself to be the least fun of all the -ologies at parties, with our own bodies punishing us for showing a smile.

When we smile, we exaggerate the appearance of wrinkles around our eyes, thus damning even our most filtered of photos to approximately 3.5 years into the future.

Our friendly, if neutrally-faced, researchers are quick to tell you otherwise. Hold onto those emotions as tight as you can.

Now, for most of us, this is no real issue. Maybe you are like me, born with the appearance of constant indeterminate age.

Maybe you’re just too gosh darn happy to give a hoot, or other upbeat substitute for profanity.

But for those who are feeling all kinds of devastation at this news, hold onto those emotions as tight as you can.

The secret to looking your age in photographs and attaining optimum levels of attractiveness?

Well, it is, of course, to look miserable.

Failing that, try putting on your best impression of the face you make when you tear into that Christmas present from nan, knowing you were in for socks and deodorant, but still have to keep up the charade that it’s all a big shock.

Yes, according to research by the University of Western Ontario, Canada, one of the best faces to use in your photography is either a natural, emotionless, neutral expression, or a “pouting” surprised one.

In case you’re thinking that smiling by some miracle makes you look younger – just as every tweenage Disney Channel movie has taught you – our friendly, if neutrally-faced, researchers are quick to tell you otherwise.

This belief, which researcher Melvyn Goodale says is “well-rooted in popular culture”, is in fact “a complete misconception”.

Sure, being happy may feel good, and it may feel even better to show the world just how happy you are.

But when that happiness gets in the way of precious Instagram likes, it’s time to turn those frowns right back around.

 

Gordon Smith

Journalist by day, cunning linguist by night. A passion for politics, hypnotically involved in human rights. An Australian born with a Japanese tongue, hoping to hold the big wigs in government to account.

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