Beauty of Authentic Smiles

Like everyone else out there, I keep marveling at the popularity of so-called “reality shows.”  The characters are generally unlikable, the story-line is usually basic : a competition, girl-on-girl fight, and some crying baked in; and the setting is typical: new York, Atlanta, Miami, LA. etc.

But something struck me as I was huffing and puffing away on the elliptical machine last night (my need to lose weight is a story for another day, but something weighing on my mind…no pun intended!)  You see I listen to music on my iPad while I exercise but I like to watch the Food Network simultaneously.  I enjoy watching the chefs create something and given it’s mostly a visual experience, I can multi-task.

Unfortunately, I tend to work out during the hours that the Food Network airs its competitive shows.  But while I do miss some of the content, I can still get a feel for the drama.  Last night was one of those times that I was stuck watching a Food Network reality-show, “Restaurant Impossible,”  where a dying restaurant gets spruced up..management, menu, and decor-wise.  After an hour of obvious tension among all the show’s participants, the restauranteurs get to see the make-over of their business establishment.    As you can imagine, their reaction is one of being over-joyed.  The smiles on their faces, the surprise in their eyes, and the palpable shaking of their bodies is authentic.  There’s no acting there.  Even without sound, in fact probably because you can’t hear their reactions, you can truly witness the depth of their physical responses.  There’s no question that as a viewer, you respond in kind.

There have been many studies about real vs fake smiles, and how our every tiny line in our faces reveal our true feelings.  And, how others can detect those feelings instinctively.  So when we see true, honest, happiness, we feel it to the core.  No surprise its smiles  vs arm gestures or head movements that we examine so much.  Smiles are universal and so critical a part of interacting and connecting with others.  In fact, in Erotic Capital, a book we recently reviewed for you (Erotic Capital: What We Think of It), the author points out that even just being a “smiler” at the office can raise your erotic capital!

While I’m still not an avid reality TV watcher, I have a greater appreciation for it and those who watch it.  Moreover, I value authentic smiles more than ever and their effect on each one of us.

Go ahead, smile…but really mean it!

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