By: Natasha Archary
“Fake it ’til you make it,” or so the saying goes but can people tell when you fake a smile? According to the smile police, while your lips may force a smile, your eyes will give away that it’s not genuine.
The topic on Kaya Drive with Sizwe Dhlomo this Wednesday on fake smiles left the team questioning whether they fake it, not just on-air but in general.
Siz can’t fake a smile and usually, if he doesn’t find something or someone funny there won’t be any facial expression.
Keneiloe Huma and Sandile van Heerden on the other hand fake a smile all the time. But, they are not fooling anyone on the team because fake smiles are actually easy to spot.
According to psychologist Richard Wiseman, nearly 60% of adults know the difference and it’s all in the eyes or the area around the eyes to be precise.
As much as “smile lines” are an indication of a good smile, the tiny wrinkles that appear on the corner of the eyes when someone laughs or smiles can’t be faked.
“These are produced by the action of a muscle called the orbicularis oculi, which rings the eye and contracts when people produce genuine, but not polite smiles,” says Dr Paul Ekman, a professor of UC San Francisco who helped develop the Facial Action Coding System to help scientists distinguish between genuine and fake smiles.
Apart from the eyes, the lips pull up naturally when one is smiling genuinely so a fake smile is pretty easy to identify.
Kaya Drive listeners shared their views on fake smiles too:
I think in truth we all fake smile at one point or another, usually to make others comfortable or to be polite. But there are those people who do it for more sinister reasons. I think people don’t want to be associated with that and labelled as fake. #kayadrive @SizweDhlomo
— Nyenyedzi (@m_racs) August 25, 2021
I think Shy people cannot fake anything hey 😅 ? I am shy I dont just smile or laugh with anyone. I am always serious Believe me when I am not around my cycle, I can’t fake anything nix nix! I am just genuine. #KayaDrive 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 @SizweDhlomo happy to be here.
— Gladness Moila (@GeestoneRSA) August 25, 2021
I fake laugh mostly when I’m chilling nabantu abadala. You know when they’re telling you old stories that they told before or weak jokes. I don’t want to break their fragile heart, so I laugh. @SizweDhlomo #Kayadrive
— Ayanda_B (@AyandaB16) August 25, 2021