Deeper Perception Made Practical

Lena Dunham's BEST FAKE SMILE. Reading One Distinctive Bit of Body Language and Expression

Lena Dunham, demonstrating a fascinating fake smile

Lena Dunham, demonstrating a fascinating fake smile

Well the joke is on me, Blog-Buddies. After sketching out a two-part series of articles with aura reading the rich and famous and beloved Lena Dunham, can I finally finish today’s article and do more of the things on my list for today? Hahaha. Nope.

I must * must * must first do today’s bit of reading body language. Because this is tooooo fascinating to resist. And I’m sure you will have fun with the special experiment that you’ll be given in today’s article.

What can you learn about Lena Dunham a photo where she flashes her most distinctive smile?

Sure, consider this new series reading Lena Dunham to be an extra fancy Second Prize for our contest on What Could Possibly Make This Person Tick? (This second prize acknowledges the nomination that received the most comments from different Blog-Buddies during the contest period. BRANDI began this with a detailed, articulate and fascinating comment about Lena Dunham.)

Ordinarily I don’t include body language in work with energetic literacy. The big exception is my how-to book “Read People Deeper,” which supplements body language with face reading and aura reading. A book that is on my mind as it is going live this week as an ebook for the first time. (More on that later this week.)

Why don’t I usually read expression and body language? Meaningful though they can be, aura reading and face reading can deliver much more nuanced insight.

But there I was this morning, starting to choose a better photo of Lena Dunham so I could read her aura. The first link supplied by BRANDI in her wonderful contest entry, with a generous supply of links, was A bad photo for an aura reading. Why? Lena Dunham was turned around in a twisty, cutesy pose that was fine for a publicity shot but really awful for aura reading. When I happened to see her smile.


About this Lena Dunham Smile

This isn’t just a fake smile. It is a very rare and distinctive kind of fake smile.

Granted, it isn’t the only kind of fake smile that Lena Dunham has employed in a publicity photo. Because both of the first two links that BRANDI sent me with the contest entry contained a fake smile, and a different type of fake smile.

I won’t go into much detail about that second one. All of us are used to seeing little closed-mouth smirks that are supposed to socially read as “smiles.”

It’s the common currency used so often on TV, streaming shows, etc., the bitcoin version of an actual smile.

If you click on this next link, I’m sure you will recognize this fake kind of smile. (It is actually interpreted in great detail, one little section in a book crammed with info. about how to have better relationships through deeper perception, “Read People Deeper.”)

  • You can see a sort of Half-Lena distinctive fake smile in the photo at the top of this blog. Open it up with this body language link and expand it to get really clear detail. Instead of a fake smile with curving lips and no parting of those lips, it is a mouth scrunched up high, then open exactly enough to show a teensy bit of her front teeth close to the gum line.
  • By contrast, here’s the real attention-getting the Full-Lena distinctive fake smile. Wow!

I’d describe this as a fake smile with curving lips and a sliver of parted lips, like a new moon. Altogether, the entire mouth is scrunched up way high, near the gum line. Then enough muscular control is exerted over the lower lip to reveal the start of many of Lena Dunham’s top teeth.

What does this mean about a person, smiling like this?

Would you like to improve your skills at reading body language and expression? One way to develop more expertise is to do an experiment that helps you to understand, in a personal way, how it feels to you. What happens if you copy what you’re aiming to research? Although you won’t necessarily feel the same way as that other person, you will feel SOMETHING, since human beings are wired to work that way. Mirror neurons are just the start….

Well, if you’re game, let’s explore why on earth you probably would never, ever willingly smile this way even in private. Let alone with a publicity photo.

Yes, you’re invited to an experiment, Blog-Buddies. This is so quick and surfacey, I wouldn’t even count this as Technique Time (for those of you who keep track).

  1. For supplies you will need your own personal face. Plus a comfortable place to sit or stand. Make that place near a mirror that you can look at on the level (not angling down, as with a mirror lying flat on a table).
  2. Keep handy a pen and paper for some scribble-writing. Substitute your favorite electronic way of making notes, like a computer or tablet. Please don’t text unless you are totally fluent at texting; if this takes effort, don’t text for this little experiment.
  3. You’ll also need 2-3 minutes of your time.
  4. Open up the photo link to the Full-Lena distinctive fake smile. Have it ready but don’t look at closely it yet.

In keeping with my new policy about meticulously honoring photo copyrights, I no longer provide links to pictures saved on services like Photobucket. Your best choice for being able to see the photo referred to in a blog post is to stay current, maybe check in at this blog once a week or more often. When reading an older article, you may not be able to find the same photo I used originally. Seek here for a photograph.


Read through the following instructions only when you have done all three steps.

How to research Lena Dunham’s fake smile in a very personal way

  1. Sit or stand comfortably.
  2. Close your eyes very briefly. Notice something about how you feel as a person right now.
  3. Open your eyes and do a little scribble writing to record what you just noticed.
  4. Look at her photo. Then copy the way Lena Dunham is holding her mouth. Use the mirror to practice. Once you have that, hold that position for several seconds.
  5. Repeat Steps 2 and 3.
  6. Compare what you wrote in Steps 3 and 5. That, of course, is the result (for you) of doing that particular smile.

I won’t share my experience until after you Blog-Buddies have had a chance to experiment on your own. Please do share your comments below. And don’t necessarily read anyone else’s comments first. Go forth and boldly share.

I’ll write tomorrow’s post with the results of my experiment now, and then make today’s article live.

Have fun with this, Blog-Buddies.




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Join the Discussion

  1. 1
    Emily says:

    I find it quite physically hard to imitate her smile. I found I felt a bit contemptuous and a little gross.

  2. 2
    Brandi says:

    Rose,I feel so special to have you do all this fabulous research on Lena Dunham! Woohoo!
    When I imitated her smile I felt this feeling like she is gritting through her teeth and thinking almost like “I hate you all but I will give you what you want and smile but I can’t wait to not smile”.

  3. 3
    Sylvia says:

    This is so fascinating. When I imitate her smile, I feel, “There is something I want to say, but I refuse to say it.” I’m not familiar with her or her work, but from what I’ve read, she is known for being quite open and outspoken, which ironically is the exact opposite of my experience of that smile!

  4. 4
    Sarah says:

    How interesting! Everyone’s responses so far are so different (and different from my own experience), but none of them particularly pleasant-sounding.

    I also found it somewhat difficult to imitate the smile, and by the time I succeeded, my eyes were almost as wide as hers! Haha.

    I went from (before): feeling kind of stressed/annoyed and a little too warm
    to (after): feeling VERY UNCOMFORTABLE and scared like I wanted to run away, not much aware of any physical sensations in my body

    Not a pleasant feeling at all!

  5. 5
    Happy says:

    When I started, the first thought that entered my mind was “I look silly”, my face isn’t made to smile like that. And then I started to have insecurities, that is my own insecurities running through my mind.

  6. 6

    Thanks so much for adding to our online conversation here, HAPPY, SARAH, SYLVIA, BRANDI, and EMILY.

    Looking forward to more experiences with this experiment in exploring that quirky bit of body language and expression.

    Go for it, Blog-Buddies. And then please report here what you find. Adds to the experiment, hearing YOUR response in mind-body-spirit.

  7. 7
    INFP Starflower says:

    I am so familiar with this kind of smile, having used it often myself. For me, it has been more of an “I don’t really want to be here, and I don’t really like you, particularly, but I’m trying to be polite” smile. Thanks to a wonderful (as usual) session with Rose yesterday, I think I’ll have less of a use for this kind of smile.

  8. 8

    What a touching comment, INFP Starflower.

    Earth School gives us so many ways to be educated that involve suffering. It’s not about the nobility of the soul but the trickiness of the path, you know?

    And I’m glad that session was helpful for you. 🙂

  9. 9
    Easton says:

    I, too, have “shared” this kind of smile. It’s an emotionally complicated smile.

    It’s a little of, “I am putting on a fake kind of confident smile in order to be what I think this social group wants me to be.”

    With a little of, “I hate myself for trying so hard to be what I’m not right now.”

    And some of, “I’m above this bullshit, but at the same I time I’m feeling really low self-confidence because I can’t figure out another way at the moment. What am I doing?”

  10. 10
    teresa says:

    I did the exercise and felt a familiar yet somewhat indescribable feeling.

    Then, today I realized I was smiling that same smile. 🙁

    I was not happy with what I had just done and wanted to escape. I was experiencing extreme internal discomfort and the desire to hide from the world. But I couldn’t, so I just smiled (that) smile. ICK!

  11. 11

    Fascinating, huh? You know, Deeper Perception can help to open up the heart of compassion.

    That is always my hope.

  12. 12
    Leo says:

    For smile one: Detached, yet also feeling superior.

  13. 13
    Cathy says:

    I agree, her smile is fake, but its her eyes that get me. To me there is a look of distain, disgust, along with superiority, and a bit of ‘yes well, this is kind of fun for a bit. I do deserve this, but what a pain.’

  14. 14

    Okay, the aura reading I promised of Lena Dunham was started today:

    Turns out, my experience with this smile was downright pleasant compared to today’s post. Ugh! Gack! Sorry. You might want to skip this one.

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