Smize–the smile with your eyes–is a neologism to describe excitement on your face, without necessarily being able to see your own mouth when you do it. Smize has gained popularity, especially in the past year as everyone has been wearing masks. Without being able to see someone’s mouth due to mask-wearing, nobody knows when anyone is smiling or laughing. Thanks to the smize, we’ve been able to read someone’s happiness simply by looking into their eyes. It seems like smize has become part of our vocabulary–and it should become part of your smiling repertoire. You just need to know when to pull it out.
The Duchenne Smile
Before we get into smizing, it’s important to understand the Duchenne Smile so you know where the smize stems from. The Duchenne Smile is one of the most influential human expressions and is a smile that reaches the eyes. A Duchenne smile will cause the corners of your eye’s wrinkle up to create crow’s feet—an authentic expression of happiness!
The Duchenne Smile stems from a scientist Guillaume Duchenne, who contributed to mapping out the human body’s muscles including the facial muscles that control expressions.
Duchenne Smiles are important for several reasons. For one, they can elevate your mood. When you force yourself to smile, it can actually help you feel better. Duchenne Smiles can also help you connect with other humans. When you smile and someone sees it, they immediately feel their mood elevate and it makes them want to smile. The Duchenne smile can also relieve stress and make people perceive you as more trustworthy and sincere.
When someone smiles and it doesn’t show in their eyes and it’s not a Duchenne Smile, the smile is usually thought of as fake. However, the smile is usually just considered a polite smile that can communicate social pleasantness.
How to Smize
So what is a smize? A smize combines elements of the Duchenne smile with something less than a full smile with the mouth. Here’s how to smize, step by step.
Step 1: Relax
Relax your facial muscles. You have to feel happy to make the smize genuine.
Step 2: Focus
Open your eyes wide and focus them intently on your target, usually a camera, but it may also be a person. This engages the eye muscles that are crucial to the Duchenne smile.
Step 3: Smile
Yeah, a real smile is part of the smize. But it should be a slight, closed-lip smile. This is easiest for people who have a commissure smile (one that raises at the corners first). People who have a cuspid smile (one that raises in the middle first) might have more trouble creating the right look.
Step 4: Position
The smize is also about the position of your head, neck, and shoulders. Elongate your neck by pulling your shoulders down and imagining your head is being pulled up by a string.
Practice these both in the mirror and with friends until you are confident in your smize. Then it’s time to take this show on the road.
When to Smize
A smize is not an everyday expression. It’s got its own special time and place to be used. Here are some occasions when you should be smizing.
When Wearing a Mask
If you can’t show off your real smile, you can still show your happiness by smizing. Don’t use mask-wearing as an excuse to have no emotions. Use it as an opportunity to practice smizing!
Need something to alternate with your perfect pout? Smizing fits the bill–it helps you look model-worthy in all your selfies.
It’s a misconception that the smize is only suited for models and celebrities. Professionals need an expression that is both approachable and serious, and the smize is essential for this. Real estate agents, bankers, lawyers, and leaders all need a smize.
Frenemies and Other Adversaries
Sometimes you need to express displeasure or intensity when a smile is necessary. Smizing lets you look fierce while meeting the social niceties.
When you look at these occasions, it’s clear that we all need a smize–whether it’s for where you are or where you want to be–as well as an attractive smile.
Get Cosmetic Dentistry in Beverly Hills
If you are looking for help getting the perfect smile to offset your smize, our periodontal plastic surgeon, Dr. Nicolas Ravon can help. We offer a wide range of cosmetic dentistry options to help your smile look its best when the mask comes off. With such a beautiful smile, you won’t have to smize because you will have a real Duchenne smile all the time. Whether you have stained, gapped, crooked, broken, misaligned, or misshapen teeth, we offer solutions that can help. Find out how Dr. Ravon can help transform your smile by scheduling a consultation.