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#1 Edited by MysticMedivh (6135 posts) - - Show Bio

While there are many explanations to this, and the question itself may sound rather odd, why do people smile in pictures? If you're genuinely having a good time or are happy, then great! Glad you're having fun. However, in most cases that's not the true story. You're arguing with family/friends then someone pulls out the camera and suddenly arms go over shoulders, you muster up an artificial smile, and as soon as the picture has been taken people immediately go back to their unhappy mood. Is it to preserve the memory as a "happy" one? Is it to show your family/friends of how much of a good time you had, even though it was the complete oposite? Wouldn't you be lying to yourself if you smiled in a picture even if you weren't happy, just so the memory would seem like a good one when you look back upon in years later? A false memory built on a lie?

Some random stock photo I found on Google Images. Anyone else notice that almost everyone here has odd, blue eyes?

We've all grown up, accustomed to "smiling" when someone wants to take our picture, in the same way that most of us respond with "Good" when someone asks the very generic "How are you?", even though that isn't necessarily how we are or how we feel. I remember watching a documentary of a charity organization bringing cameras, PCs, and other technology to various villages to Africa, in order to promote education and such. After figuring how all the technology worked, the villagers, when taking pictures of themselves, never smiled, because they had no reason to muster up an artificial smile. They had never been exposed to eurocentric/western "customs", and quite frankly, what they did made sense to me.

Enough ranting from me, I made this thread to see what all of you think.

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#2 Edited by The_Deathstroker (8023 posts) - - Show Bio

Because when you say cheese your mouth becomes the shape of a smile.

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#3 Edited by MysticMedivh (6135 posts) - - Show Bio

Because when you say cheese your mouth becomes the shape of a smile.

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#4 Posted by The Stegman (26610 posts) - - Show Bio

Pictures exist to preserve memories. People would rather look back and see themselves and others happy rather than sad. Plus, it's better than that stupid duck face people do now.

As for the "How are you?" Question 99% of the time, it's a superficial question, most expect you to say "fine" or "good" so you say it.

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#5 Posted by kgb725 (6440 posts) - - Show Bio

People only do the mugshot look or they do a good face like a silly face or a smile

#6 Posted by NorrinBoltagonPrime21 (6696 posts) - - Show Bio

Its visually appealing, at least to me

#7 Posted by The_Deathstroker (8023 posts) - - Show Bio
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#8 Posted by The Stegman (26610 posts) - - Show Bio

@mysticmedivh: Funny enough, I was watching an interview yesterday with James Franco and he explains why he doesn't smile in photos, it's funny

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#9 Edited by The_Deathstroker (8023 posts) - - Show Bio

I honestly see more mugshots and duck faces because people that do that stuff are liberals/hipsters (pretty much same thing) and nowadays everyone is a liberal/hipster/LGBT supporter. It's the new trend.

#flameon

#comeatme

#liberalsucklikethecubs

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#10 Posted by dagmar_merrill (10744 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm usually smiling

#11 Posted by Jezer (3183 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't know, seems like a strange question to me.

I believe the vast majority of people think they look good/better when they smile, and thus smile for pictures in order to look their best.

#12 Posted by The_Deathstroker (8023 posts) - - Show Bio

@dagmar_merrill: We know. Literally every pic you post you look like you just slowly murdered someone.

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#13 Posted by dagmar_merrill (10744 posts) - - Show Bio
#14 Posted by Eisenfauste (9281 posts) - - Show Bio
#15 Posted by Nefarious (23727 posts) - - Show Bio

Happy.

#16 Posted by Eisenfauste (9281 posts) - - Show Bio

Because would you rather look back at photo's and see you in a "happy" moment, or you being pissed off. Then you'll just look back and say "man my life sucked back then".

#17 Edited by The_Deathstroker (8023 posts) - - Show Bio

@eisenfauste: @dagmar_merrill: Feel the burn. I vote that anyone that does a duck face loses their lips, and anyone that does a mug shot gets skinned until they smile. >:3

If your sad about the Cubs comment, it's not my fault you pick bad teams.

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#18 Posted by Eisenfauste (9281 posts) - - Show Bio

@The_Deathstroker: I'll make you wear a golden crown and see how you feel about that. You aren't a dragon, so you will die :P

#19 Posted by Black_Arrow (4330 posts) - - Show Bio

Because I usually only take photos while i am happy.

#20 Posted by The_Deathstroker (8023 posts) - - Show Bio

@eisenfauste: A crown!? I shall be the King of the Seven Kingdoms!

I wouldn't die from a crown, silly.

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#21 Posted by Eisenfauste (9281 posts) - - Show Bio

@The_Deathstroker: "Golden crown" trust me it's not what you think and it isn't pleasant.

#22 Posted by The_Deathstroker (8023 posts) - - Show Bio

@eisenfauste: I know exactly what you're talking about nigga. I didn't come to be known as one of the most well known GoT fans for nothing!

You ain't no Khal Drogo!

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#23 Posted by MysticMedivh (6135 posts) - - Show Bio

Because would you rather look back at photo's and see you in a "happy" moment, or you being pissed off. Then you'll just look back and say "man my life sucked back then".

So essentially, in a way, wouldn't you be lying to yourself? I mean, let's say you had a bad time, you smiled, and took a picture. Five years later, you look at that picture and you think to yourself, "Wow! I must have had a good time" even though you had a bad time, so you covered it up with a smile so you would look good, happy, or whatever reason you intended to smile for the future. Basically, a lie.

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#24 Edited by BatWatch (3257 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a good point. I've been thinking about it over the past couple of years because my wife is a photographer. It's almost always posed, but you aren't really capturing reality with that. There is certainly art and skill to it, and I suppose if I had to see a bunch of pictures of people either smiling and posed perfectly or people, for instance, sitting blank faced on the couch, I'd pick the smiles, but it does seem a bit fake. I think it takes a special eye and talent for the photographers who can capture profound pictures in the moment by catching people's genuine reactions. Those are difficult, but they speak volumes.

#25 Posted by Hypnosis (369 posts) - - Show Bio

People are usually more attractive when they smile. A genuine smile in a picture will let people know whether you were actually happy in that particular moment.

#26 Posted by Eisenfauste (9281 posts) - - Show Bio
#27 Posted by The_Deathstroker (8023 posts) - - Show Bio

BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE WANT TO BE HAPPY!!!

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#28 Edited by MysticMedivh (6135 posts) - - Show Bio
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#29 Posted by MonsterStomp (21433 posts) - - Show Bio

Duck fae

#30 Posted by AllStarSuperman (23258 posts) - - Show Bio

I honestly see more mugshots and duck faces because people that do that stuff are liberals/hipsters (pretty much same thing) and nowadays everyone is a liberal/hipster/LGBT supporter. It's the new trend.

#flameon

#comeatme

#liberalsucklikethecubs

Dude I laughed way too hard at this.

#31 Posted by russellmania77 (15955 posts) - - Show Bio

Because not everybody is emo

#32 Posted by Bruxae (14152 posts) - - Show Bio

Because when you say cheese your mouth becomes the shape of a smile.

I never understood this, it doesn't. Unless you severly exaggerate the facial expression, but in that case you might as well say "Smile!".

#33 Posted by KittyParker13 (3009 posts) - - Show Bio

Because when you say cheese your mouth becomes the shape of a smile.

The reason we say cheese is to help smile, though. It's an after effect, not a cause. In Korea, they say Kimchee for the same reason. Honestly, it makes people happy to smile and look at smiles, I think.

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#34 Posted by The_Deathstroker (8023 posts) - - Show Bio
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#35 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (18888 posts) - - Show Bio

Social norms.

Because when you say cheese your mouth becomes the shape of a smile.

Not for me.

#36 Edited by ThatGuyWithHeadPhones (13032 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't smile a lot.

#37 Edited by SC (13739 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't, I cry and dry cough and and clutch my head or vibrate my eyes (its this thing some people can do which involves triggering minuscule eye muscle twitching to make it look like pupils vibrate left and right rapidly)

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#38 Posted by silkyballfro94 (2145 posts) - - Show Bio

Like everyone else said, society. I don't have a problem with others doing it. I don't like to smile the moment before taking a picture because it isn't real, it's totally fake. Someone has to make me laugh, so that I can smile. So yeah I often appear with a stone cold face or a small grin in most pictures. Sometimes, I end up ruining the pictures, because I'm next to people who have the biggest fake smiles. I guess I don't like taking pictures. I'd rather be the one taking the picture on the opposite side.

#39 Posted by Fallschirmjager (19189 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't even remember the last time I had my picture taken.

#40 Posted by MrTummyTumms (924 posts) - - Show Bio

Is it me or has there been an increase in stupid questions being asked in the forums?

#41 Posted by hudyman (1737 posts) - - Show Bio

A million ways to die in the west!

#42 Edited by The_Deathstroker (8023 posts) - - Show Bio

@silkyballfro94: I didn't say society and I'm part of the almighty every one.

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#43 Posted by swordmasterD (2438 posts) - - Show Bio

Because Society

#44 Posted by MysticMedivh (6135 posts) - - Show Bio

Is it me or has there been an increase in stupid questions being asked in the forums?

Like the question you're asking right now? Yeah, I agree.

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#45 Posted by MrTummyTumms (924 posts) - - Show Bio

@mysticmedivh: Well since you're here. Stop asking stupid questions.

#46 Posted by silkyballfro94 (2145 posts) - - Show Bio
#47 Posted by sophia89 (8261 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't smile in pictures. Stopped doing it since i was 9 years old.

I look good in real life(really good,really really good) but i take horrible pictures.

#48 Posted by dccomicsrule2011 (27712 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't smile on pics often...

#49 Edited by Ostyo (10477 posts) - - Show Bio
#50 Edited by MysticMedivh (6135 posts) - - Show Bio

@ostyo said:

@mysticmedivh: Because I'm happy Mutherfracker.

That's great! Glad you're happy. My question is asking why do people, even though it's not genuine, even though they're not having a great time, still decide to put up an artificial smile. Some reasons have suggested that people do so, so that when they look back on themselves it will look like they were having a great time. To me, however, you're lying to yourself. Basically, a false memory.

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