Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Smile Stupid!

Women are expected to show an 'outward' appearance of happiness. I'm talking about smiling. It's at a party, serving cocktails at a summer job, buying groceries, and practically every public setting except for a funeral. One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is being asked, 'Is something wrong, why aren't you smiling?' Because of our gender if we don't hold a fake grin or crack a few smiles within a conversation we can be perceived as feeling a negative emotion (sad, mad, irritated, etc). Men can have the luxury of not smiling and not get flak over it.

In an article in the Science Daily, a Yale psychologist, LeFrance, conducted a smiling experiment. He found that the differences in the amount of smiling for men and women was more contrast in America than other countries like England and Australia. In his research, he also discovered that women, more often than men, use a smile to diffuse a tense situation. LeFrance theorizes that smiling is not due to gender differences but differences in social norms of a society.

When I worked as a server through high school and college, that was one of the hardest things to maintain through the night - a smile. Female workers in customer service know this all too well! A male server or a male receptionist would never be expected to hold the barbie grin for hours on end. However, the researcher LeFrance also found that women in high power jobs smiled the same rate as men and that it was socially acceptable. So, there's light at the end of the tunnel! If you make enough money and are the boss of other minions you won't have to smile, but we all know you're grinning on the inside. :)

*No sources were used in the making of this post except the source to support my idea, and the image from Yahoo*

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