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6 Powerful Reasons to Smile

by | Oct 17, 2023 | 6 comments

It’s Paris Fashion Week. The city is invaded with stunning 6-feet tall models.

By chance my husband, Jim, and I are staying at a Paris Fashion Week hub hotel. We wear black, pretend we’re important, and walk right into the fray.

The models, while gorgeous, all have the same facial expression: miserable to catatonic.

Vanessa Friedman’s NYT article, “Why Do Runway Models Always Look So Grumpy?” explains, “it’s hard to maintain a believable expression of great joy and when a happy face is required, it turns, very quickly, into a frozen rictus that doesn’t reach the eyes.”

Vanessa – I disagree. Smiling is powerful.

6 benefits of smiling

Ground rule: Smiling does not mean grinning like the “village idiot”. Smiling means an open positive facial expression.

  1. Smiling is contagious – in a positive way.
  2. Smiling boosts your mood.
  3. Smiling makes you look younger and more attractive.
  4. Smiling is good for relationships by providing a nonverbal positive feedback loop.
  5. Smiling reduces your stress. It leads to the release of endorphins, the good chemical of the body which suppresses the effect of cortisol, the stress hormone. Even forcing a fake smile can legitimately reduce stress and lower your heart rate.
  6. Smiling suggests success. People who smile regularly often appear more confident.

Don’t look like a depressed runway model.

Do smile. It enhances your demeanor and your business deals.


  1. Harry Hall

    I could never figure out why those runway models looked that way. Of course, when I see some of those outfits, I can understand.

    I’ve always been self-conscious about my smile. I’ve gotten some better, but I still don’t think it’s great like others, such as yours, Karen. And I mean that.

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Harry – you make me laugh! Thanks for putting a smile on my face. Yes, some of those high-fashion statements are mind boggling.

      Thanks for the compliment regarding my smile. I challenge you to smile more when talking in non-stress situations. It takes discipline.

      • Kathy Schwartz

        I naturally smile quite a bit and have been trying to smile less in a business setting. Thank you for reminding me to be myself and the other benefits of smiling.

        • Karen Cortell Reisman

          Kathy – Yes – please be yourself. Don’t inhibit your smile. As I write in this post, you don’t want to do a huge grin all the time (or when unwarranted); but, a warm inviting facial expression enhances the interaction.

          Thanks for your feedback!

      • tom moore

        I agree with Harry, you have it to share and make the rest of us smile more often. Way to go.

        • Karen Cortell Reisman

          Hi Tom – Thank you so much! I try to smile authentically and to find the humor… even when that’s hard to do.

          I appreciate your feedback.

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