Smiley faces, smiles within
Today is Monday
Let the smiles begin!
Smile today, tomorrow, too
Keep on smiling
The whole week through!
Smile! Smile! Smile!
Legend & claims resound
Takes more muscles to frown
Generation upon generation has passed along the saying “it takes less muscles to smile than to frown.” If this is true, then one might conclude smiling requires less muscles, thus burning less calories and thereby conserving energy. As with many things passed along through the ages and having been around so long, the cultural landscape of this saying has taken on wide interpretations and variances in recorded data. Let’s take a look and see if there are indeed supportive facts or is this simply a statement of fireside chatter?
Remember the game where a line of people stood along a wall, one person whispered a phrase or statement into the next person’s ear and that person whispered to the next person, and so on? It became a hit because the last person in the line had to repeat aloud an interpretation of what he/she heard and it rarely, if ever, sounded anything like it started! Sometimes it became so distorted it did not even make sense but it certainly brought on its share of smiles and laughter.
Keeping that scenario in mind think about the saying “it takes more muscles to smile, than to frown” but in the context of actual numbers, i.e., how many muscles it takes to smile vs. the number of muscles it takes to frown. As with the little game and because the saying is so widespread, the number of muscles to form both expressions has changed from telling to telling. Different people hear it differently and pass along supposedly the version they heard as absolute truth with absolute certainty…without a shadow of doubt!
From Snopes.com, here is a sampling of some ways this saying has been interpreted and passed along.
It takes 13 muscles to smile and 33 to frown. Why over work? (Washington Post, 5 December 1982)
It takes four muscles to smile, 20 to frown and roughly 317 to appear amused when a Celine Dion imitator, who happens to be a man, sings a song about, er, flatulence. (The Denver Post, 29 September 1998)
Don’t they know it is said you use 35 muscles to frown and four to smile. Don’t tire yourself! ([Queensland] Sunday Mail, 18 August 1991)
It takes 50 muscles to make a frown – but only 13 to produce a smile. (From a 1931 book)
To me, the best comes from the scientists. They conclude it takes 41 muscles to frown and 17 to smile. Makes you wonder…um-m-m-m?
Scientists have WAY too much time on their hands!
Frowning does use more muscles and as a result, burns more calories!
Conclusion: On a diet? SMILE more!
What are your plans for today? Will you fill the day with smiles or mope around feeling blue? Mondays ARE a new beginning!
If you are not smiling by now, start dancing! Ever seen anyone frowning on a dance floor? Dance in the kitchen, dance down the hall, dance on your way to the bathroom! Dance! Get the picture? Dance & bring on the smiles!