Why Hillary can't stop smiling

We live in an age of facial manipulation, and our celebrities and politicians routinely get their faces "done."

In the third debate with Trump, Hillary's happy face could not seem to stop smiling, a good indication that it wasn't real. Spontaneous happy smiles come and go, they have a natural trajectory. Just watch kids who don't yet know how to pretend, smiling spontaneously; their facial expressions are dynamic, ever-changing. Our natural expressions are part of a spontaneous dance, quite different from social (voluntary, pretend) smiles. 

Hillary, as we know, is not a happy person. In fact, this "do or die" election can't be a uniformly happy time for anyone. If you're feeling tense about the election, you can bet that both Hillary and Trump are also tense. Trump's facial expressions seem fairly normal, since he's a natural slugger. Hillary kewpie doll smile is frozen in time, regardless of what her opponent may be saying; completely unnatural. These days campus radicals are trying to punish their victims for showing "microaggressions," the fleeting​ expression any sane person would show when confronted with campus radicals. 

This is the first age of body shaping, but it's still an art, not a science. Joan Rivers' attempts to look young forever became a disaster. 

​One reason for politicians to have botox injections (a muscle toxic that prevents muscle movements) is to hide microexpressions. These were first found by Paul Ekman and colleagues thirty years ago. It turns out that all normal people make small facial movements that express emotional reactions so quickly that we cannot control them. All we can do is mask them (Putin's flat face is an example, but you can see facial expressions leaking through when he becomes angry.) Botox can make it literally impossible to have natural facial expressions -- which is itself a giveaway. 

That was Hillary's trick in the last debate -- botox to smooth out the lower half of her face and cheek filler to expand her cheekbones. Her constant, unvarying smile is accomplished by opening her mouth and showing her teeth. It takes quite a bit of mirror work to keep the smiling mask in place, but the end result is unnatural because normally our faces are in constant motion. Our muscles are dynamic, because our emotions are also dynamic. On static photos we are often surprised by our own facial expressions. Posed smiles never look spontaneous. 

Take another look at that debate with the sound turned off. You may come away with a very different feeling. 

We live in an age of facial manipulation, and our celebrities and politicians routinely get their faces "done."

In the third debate with Trump, Hillary's happy face could not seem to stop smiling, a good indication that it wasn't real. Spontaneous happy smiles come and go, they have a natural trajectory. Just watch kids who don't yet know how to pretend, smiling spontaneously; their facial expressions are dynamic, ever-changing. Our natural expressions are part of a spontaneous dance, quite different from social (voluntary, pretend) smiles. 

Hillary, as we know, is not a happy person. In fact, this "do or die" election can't be a uniformly happy time for anyone. If you're feeling tense about the election, you can bet that both Hillary and Trump are also tense. Trump's facial expressions seem fairly normal, since he's a natural slugger. Hillary kewpie doll smile is frozen in time, regardless of what her opponent may be saying; completely unnatural. These days campus radicals are trying to punish their victims for showing "microaggressions," the fleeting​ expression any sane person would show when confronted with campus radicals. 

This is the first age of body shaping, but it's still an art, not a science. Joan Rivers' attempts to look young forever became a disaster. 

​One reason for politicians to have botox injections (a muscle toxic that prevents muscle movements) is to hide microexpressions. These were first found by Paul Ekman and colleagues thirty years ago. It turns out that all normal people make small facial movements that express emotional reactions so quickly that we cannot control them. All we can do is mask them (Putin's flat face is an example, but you can see facial expressions leaking through when he becomes angry.) Botox can make it literally impossible to have natural facial expressions -- which is itself a giveaway. 

That was Hillary's trick in the last debate -- botox to smooth out the lower half of her face and cheek filler to expand her cheekbones. Her constant, unvarying smile is accomplished by opening her mouth and showing her teeth. It takes quite a bit of mirror work to keep the smiling mask in place, but the end result is unnatural because normally our faces are in constant motion. Our muscles are dynamic, because our emotions are also dynamic. On static photos we are often surprised by our own facial expressions. Posed smiles never look spontaneous. 

Take another look at that debate with the sound turned off. You may come away with a very different feeling.