6 May 2013

To Smile

A smile

is a facial expression formed by flexing the muscles near both ends of the mouth and by flexing muscles throughout the mouth.Some smiles include contraction of
the muscles at the corner of the eyes. Among humans, it is an expression denoting pleasure, sociability, happiness, or amusement, but can also be an involuntary
expression of anxiety, in which case it is known as a grimace. Smiling is something that is understood by everyone despite culture, race, or religion; it is internationally
known. Cross-cultural studies have shown that smiling is a means of communication throughout the world but there are large differences between different cultures. A smile
can also be spontaneous or artificial. Many biologists think the smile originated as a sign of fear. Primalogist Signe Preuschoft traces the smile back over 30 million years of
evolution to a "fear grin" stemming from monkeys and apes who often used barely clenched teeth to portray to predators that they were harmless. The smile may have
evolved differently among species and especially among humans.
While smiling is perceived as a positive emotion most of the time, there are many cultures that perceive smiling as a negative expression and consider it unwelcoming. Too
much smiling can be viewed as a sign of shallowness or dishonesty. Japanese people may smile when they are confused or angry. In other parts of Asia, people may smile
when they are embarrassed. Some people may smile at others to indicate a friendly greeting. A smile may be reserved for close friends and family members. Many people
in the former Soviet Union area consider smiling at strangers in public to be unusual and even suspicious behavior. Yet many Americans smile freely at strangers in public
places (although this is less common in big cities). Some Russians believe that Americans smile in the wrong places; some Americans believe that Russians don't smile
enough. In Southeast Asian cultures, a smile is frequently used to cover emotional pain or embarrassment.
Happiness is most often the motivating cause of a smile. However, there are many exceptions, especially among animals. The exposure of teeth, which may bear a
resemblance to a smile.

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