September 26, 2009

"Barack Obama's amazingly consistent smile."


Barack Obama's amazingly consistent smile from Eric Spiegelman on Vimeo.

Via Glenn Reynolds, who admits he does the same thing.

People who pose for a lot of pictures — successfully — develop a natural-looking, reflexive smile. Don't mock it. It's very useful. I went through most of my life feeling awkward doing photographs as if it was phony to smile when it wasn't backed up by genuine happiness or amusement. You don't have time to summon up real feeling or its simulacrum. You're not filming an Oscar performance. Just do that winning, automatic smile for the camera and save your worries about real human feeling for less artificial encounters.

28 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

I saw this earlier on Insta. Amazing...

MrBuddwing said...

Ever notice how, on an everyday basis, women are expected to smile a lot more often than men?

rhhardin said...

You can tell a lot more about a man if there's a dog in the picture.

miller said...

The thing is, some people probably think his smile is genuine.

tjl said...

O's artificial smile bothers me a lot less than his artificial personality.

rhhardin said...

See, this (not mine) turned up on flickr yesterday.

albert venn dicey said...

The woman is the Bulgarian foreign ministerq I think.

Bissage said...

(1) Keep that smile on your face. With a smile you’re welcome anyplace.
-- from the song "Sell, Sell" from the film "O Lucky Man!" (1973)

(2) “Acting is lying.”
-- John Derek

(3) LUCILLA: You seem upset.

MAXIMUS: I lost many men.

LUCILLA: What did my father want with you?

MAXIMUS: To wish me well before I leave for home.

LUCILLA: You're lying. I could always tell when you were lying because you were never any good at it.

MAXIMUS: I never acquired your comfort with it.

LUCILLA: True. But then you never had to.

MAXIMUS: Life is more simple for a soldier.

LUCILLA: Or do you think me heartless?

MAXIMUS: I think you have a talent for survival.

-- from “Gladiator” (2000)

AllenS said...

Used car salesmen have a consistent smile. Would you buy a car from Obama?

hillbilly said...

I had my picture taken with the same cardboard cutout the last time I was in Washington.

PatCA said...

But he has the same suit and tie on in all the poses--I'm sure it's the same picture photoshopped onto others.

I do like the "do this" bit. His smile comes on so suddenly, it's weird.
cartoon

traditionalguy said...

After that many smiles on cue the poor guy must dream about Cheese all night. Seriously that is a photo-shop job for sure.

hillbilly said...

He has the same suit and tie on because the were all taken at the same time.

"A reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, during which they stood for 130 photographs with visiting foreign dignitaries in town for the UN meeting."

EDH said...

Smile.

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received a handwritten note Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance.

Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty, Barthold wrote on JCT letterhead. He signed it "Sincerely, Thomas A. Barthold."

Irene said...

Funny, he wasn't smiling here!

ricpic said...

I think Obama figured it out by age 15 that the non-threatening seemingly sincere smile was his ticket to ride. Given the payoff why stop riding?

David said...

Here is what France's Premier says about Obama--an item ignored by American mainstream media.

Sarkozy: “We live in the real world, not the virtual world. And the real world expects us to take decisions.”

. . . .

“President Obama dreams of a world without weapons … but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite.
“Iran since 2005 has flouted five security council resolutions. North Korea has been defying council resolutions since 1993.
“I support the extended hand of the Americans, but what good has proposals for dialogue brought the international community? More uranium enrichment and declarations by the leaders of Iran to wipe a UN member state off the map,” he continued, referring to Israel.
The sharp-tongued French leader even implied that Mr Obama’s resolution 1887 had used up valuable diplomatic energy.
“If we have courage to impose sanctions together it will lend viability to our commitment to reduce our own weapons and to making a world without nuke weapons,” he said.
Mr Sarkozy has previously called the US president’s disarmament crusade “naive.”

miller said...

It is a sad day when France - FRANCE! - has to tell us how to defend freedom.

Bruce Hayden said...

I never realized that some people do this, until I had been with my SO for awhile. She had worked as a model to put herself through college, and has a photographic smile that she can turn on and off on command. Like she was posing for a photograph, which is where I am sure she learned it. And it is an extremely good one.

Looking at her pictures back then, they had that automatic smile, but she somehow looked innocent. Now, it is with the confidence of a beautiful woman who knows that when she puts that smile on in public, she will be the center of attraction.

So, of course, I get a lot of unposed shots of her, which she immediately deletes when she can - but by now, I have saved the photos to a hard drive somewhere knowing this is going to happen before I show her the photos.

Bruce Hayden said...

Yes, women do smile a lot more than men do.

I think there is a lot of evidence that it is innate. Part of it appears to be a "harmless" display to males. In other words, a way of turning off male aggression potentially aimed in their direction. Children do it too. And, just like blond hair, women mimic children to trigger a male protective reflex to counter his aggression.

Part of why I think that it is innate is that females are naturally hairless on their faces, while males are not. This means that the adult females have lost the hair on their faces that their simian ancestors had. And the males have pretty much not, but rather, go the other way, being able to cover their faces even more thoroughly with hair than their simian ancestors did.

What all that hair on the male face does is hide emotions, while the hairlessness on women does the opposite, and, in particular here, does not cover their smiles as a non-aggression signal.

Which is why it is probably not a good thing that President Obama runs around with that fake smile on his face all the time, essentially giving off a non-aggression signal similar to the one that women provide to turn off male aggression. But, by its very nature, it is a sign of weakness. And, that is not something that we want our enemies thinking.

Joe said...

I enjoy reading Glenn Reynolds, but if he thinks his smile is remotely natural, he is very mistaken. In his pictures (and on PJTV) he redefines the word "wooden". I can only assume he's much better in lectures.

Peren said...

Call on meeeeeeeeeeee...

James Wigderson said...

Does the android Obama say, "Made in Kenya" on the shoe?

Balfegor said...

Which is why it is probably not a good thing that President Obama runs around with that fake smile on his face all the time, essentially giving off a non-aggression signal similar to the one that women provide to turn off male aggression. But, by its very nature, it is a sign of weakness. And, that is not something that we want our enemies thinking.

Ye-es . . . I think that's a bit of a stretch. I think people around the world have become accustomed, by now, to American politicians with plastic smiles on.

jamesmdw said...

The smile stays the same, but the ears change. Go figure.

George said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George said...

I have never regretted not smiling for a photograph.

psoriasisguru.com said...

This may be a bit of photo trickery, but still, how hard can it be to smile exactly the same a hundred times in a row? He's had to pose for thousands of pics since becoming prez