"Smile and the world smiles with you..."
I just read an interesting study that said Botox lifts depression in some people, the thought being that outward facial expression directly affects mood. Doctors think that when the frowning and scowling is stopped through the shots, the spirit actually lifts from without. In 1872, Charles Darwin postulated as much in "The Expressions of the Emotions in Man and Animals". Many doctors believe you "are" the expressions on your face. (Bush's smirk, both inside and out, is more of a chicken/egg conundrum.)
I have always found Condoleezza Rice's facial expressions amazing in their unguarded dourness. For a football fan (and Secretary of State), one would think she understood the term "game face", but maybe that's more a baseball item (and Attorney General). At any rate, since I now believe that everything anyone does will be on camera somewhere, I even sleep with a saucy, devil-may-care expression. I have often noticed Rice standing on the sidelines of Bush's televised conferences, scowling, or if we're to mark on a curve, "intensely concentrating to the boiling point". She actually shows anger (Disapproval? Hard to tell.) in response to questions asked of the president.
I am always drawn into that frown. Then I too get angry and scowly. Of course I quickly recover in my living room in case someone is somehow filming, but if I were a world leader about to meet with Ms. Rice, before she even spoke, my hopes for a positive way forward between countries would already be dashed. Even her smiles look pained.
Just as the emotional can manifest in the physical (e.g., emotions can cause illness), the physical can affect our insides, and that knowledge is often employed to advantage. Look at Alcoholics Anonymous - "Fake it til you make it". Or Herbert Berghof (HB studios founder with wife Uta Hagen, on acting) - "Do the action, the emotion will follow". We know we feel good after we do good. So, for the good of the world, I propose that Condoleezza Rice get some Botox ASAP. Not only might she feel more positive, the relaxing of that tortuously knitted/knotted brow might help sell confidence in the United States abroad. Foreign leaders might relax enough to actually hear her. At the moment, her face reflects administration policy: closed, tense, sulky, ready to pounce. And as your mom always knew, and the midterm elections showed, nobody would like it if our face freezes like that.
"Let's not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it." - Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
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