THE KEY CONCEPT : The bittersweet smile combines a distressed brow with a smiling mouth.
Being HAPPY can be Complicated
Figures 1 & 2. Florian Thauvin, Player #20, inspired this blog. Take a careful look at Figure 2, the spectacular image of the emotion-drenched French Squad celebrating their victory in the 2018 World Cup. While nearly everyone laughs or shouts with joy, their happy faces displaying their upper teeth but not their lower (the textbook pattern with laughing), Thauvin stands out from the crowd. As you can see in Figure 1, his upper face is clenched in the pattern most associated with crying. For reasons that are not well understood, extreme joy can trigger reflexes associated with grief, as is obviously happening here. In such overwhelming moments, like winning a world championship, people experience a superabundance of emotional energy, and it finds outlets through a variety of channels – including physical action, like jumping for joy, and crying.
So many faces. So many ways to express emotions. Faigin examines facial expressions in movie stills, cartoons, fine art, illustrations and photographs and shares his insightful analyses in his monthly blog.