at we’re like (something…so challenge us to question the assumptions we often make when confronted with unsmiling strangers. Our faces at rest are no indication of how we’re feeling or what we’re like (something people who go around telling strangers to “cheer up” desperately need to learn), and a smile — freely given—can completely transform the way you see someone new, upending an array of judgements you never even knew you were making.
I think I have been waiting all my life to read this article! I have one of those faces which when at rest seems to be very, very serious. Even if all I’m thinking about is what to pick up at the grocery store!
And I also have a smile that people, even complete strangers, seem compelled to comment upon in a positive way. Your article helped me to see that both of my “faces” can sometimes be unintentionally misleading. No one other than ourselves can ever know fully what goes on behind our face.
And yes, seeing the side by side photos of people smiling/unsmiling did bring a smile to my face!