This is an interesting question. There is an urban legend that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile. Yet, it turns out that depends entirely on the face, the smile, and the frown. Different people have differing numbers of muscles in their face. Similarly, not all smiles are considered equal. Some are bemused, elated, tickled, piqued or forced, and each uses a different combination of muscles.
According to the article it takes 17 muscles to smile.
The number of muscles required to smile is twelve. They are listed as follows:
Zygomaticus major and minor (bilateral)
levator labii superioris (bilateral)
levator anguli oris (bilateral)
See the first link below for more information.
It has always been a popular saying: “It takes more muscles to frown than to smile”, meaning that you are wasting more energy on being angry than on being happy. Sometimes, the phrase is even accompanied with numbers for how many muscles both expressions use. However, according to Discovery Health, there is no real, definitive number of muscles it takes to smile or frown. There are 43 muscles in the face, but the range of expressions varies from individual to individual. Also, people’s perceptions of smiles and frowns vary; a smile could be anything from a slight upturn of the lips to a wide grin with teeth shown and skin around the eyes crinkled. But the one known fact to come out of this age-old expression: being angry takes too much wasted energy and effort, it doesn’t take much to flash a smile!
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