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Posted by Matthew Brower on

The History of How We Smile

Smiling Historical

Ever wondered how did people from ancient history smile at each other?

The earliest evidence that humans laugh or smile can be found on ancient Egyptian murals, dated to 5000 BC. These depict happy and jovial people who may have been laughing at a joke or simply celebrating their harvests.

Ancient Greeks also mentioned smiling in their famous literary works suggesting that they too had a sense of humor.

However, there is no reliable evidence for smiling in the Middle-Ages because people were very religious and frowned when praying or worshipping God. It was not until the Renaissance period (14th century) that we see paintings depicting people with different emotions such as sadness, happiness, anger on their faces – hence it can be concluded that these artists would have been aware of how human expressions change during moods.

Smile Direct Club

In the 17th century English philosopher Francis Bacon also mentions what he calls “the Mechanism” which would allow humans to smile at each other; this may have even led to social media’s like button today!

It wasn’t until 1872 though, before Charles Darwin proposed his theory of eugenics and the evolution of humans, that we see people smile in portraits.

It is unknown if this was a conscious decision to portray happiness or just because photography had only recently been invented at the time!

Then in 20th century photography birthed the era of “candid photography” where people were mainly photographed without knowing they were being captured.

This led to some interesting results as in these images we see pure happiness, bliss and joy on peoples faces – something that had not been seen for centuries before!

In today’s age of wearing masks seeing smiles became a rare thing again. Us at Smile Direct Club hope that after Covid we will be able to see our smiles once again.