The Internet has dramatically changed the way we communicate. Email has now become the dominant method for conveying professional information, replacing phone calls and in-person meetings to an ever-greater extent (especially in these days of COVID-19 fears).
And personal communication has changed, too. Where people used to talk on the phone to their friends, we now hang out virtually using social media, using texts and DMs for more personal conversations.
One challenge of the move to virtual communication is that we have lost an essential part of communication: body language. People use many strategies to try to supplement the loss. The simplest and earliest was overstatement. Even though a person might only chuckle at a meme, they might respond with LMAO or ROFL to give the impression of genuine emotion that in person would be conveyed by the lips, teeth, and eyes.
But there are also graphic languages developing to fill this gap. One of these languages is the emoji, but the most dramatic is the language of GIFs.
GIFs, short video loops that can be easily inserted into digital communications, have come to stand in for many types of body language, including smiling.
Now a new analysis of GIF searches shows which celebrities people are choosing to smile for them. Though the data has limitations, it still tells us a lot about what makes smiles attractive, which can help you make decisions about cosmetic dentistry.
The data was collected by entertainment website The Pudding from GIF supplier Tenor. The data includes a set of 25 emotions and actions as represented by over 100 famous figures, from Adele to Zayn Malik. Not all of these figures are simply celebrities. Some of them are fictional characters, including anime and cartoon characters, as well as certain characters portrayed by an actor. Some characters, such as Harley Quinn, are represented in various forms, such as the live action version played by Margot Robbie or the animated version from Batman: The Animated Series.Other characters, like Thor, are represented almost exclusively in one form, in this case the Chris Hemsworth version from the MCU.
The data then breaks down how often people search for the GIF of the celebrity with the emotion. There is little analysis, leaving us to try to understand the data on our own.
What this data does show is which celebrities people most strongly identify with certain emotions or expressions, such as smiling. So what celebrities are most strongly identified with their smile?
The celebrity most identified with his smile is Will Smith. More than 70% of all searches for Will Smith focus on his smile. The GIF they chose to represent his smile is well-selected. It focuses on a moment from his Fresh Prince days, in the series when he smiles and winks before being yanked offscreen.
The next most strongly identified smile is Daenerys, the Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones: 25% of searches for her include “smile.” She’s followed by Zayn Malik (16%), Ryan Reynolds (14%), The Rock (11%), and Thor (11%).
Although the data doesn’t tell us exactly how often these celebrities are searched for, it does tell us which cultural figures are most strongly identified with their smile.
While GIFs work great for representing your smile online, when you’re meeting people in person, there’s no substitute for having an attractive smile of your own. Unfortunately, not all of us feel confident with our smiles. The good news is that if you’re not happy with your smile, cosmetic dentistry can help. From simple teeth whitening to a smile makeover, we can handle simple or serious concerns.
To learn how we can help you have a smile you’ll be proud to show, please call (918) 528-3330 today for an appointment with cosmetic dentist Dr. Meghan Hodges at élan.