Smiling is over—at least it is according to Kim Kardashian. When the reality TV star turned beauty mogul was asked about the secret to good skin recently, she told a fan: “Don’t smile.”
While that reads like a joke, it was delivered in earnest, per People. According to Kardashian, smiling just ages you and there is actually scientific research to back this up. Back in May 2017, a study by the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review Journal found that people may look older when they’re smiling. The research didn’t comment on whether or not smiling actually ages you, but it did find that smiling ages people’s perception of you. After a group of 40 people were shown photos of the same people smiling and not smiling, the test group assumed people who were smiling to be up to two years older than their neutral-faced counterparts.
For Kardashian, not smiling has also taken on another meaning: She considers it to be a reaction to the negative media coverage she’s received in the past. When she was pregnant with North West and experienced body shaming, Kardashian started changing her outlook on smiling. “Before I was always smiling, and so into being out and about,” she said. “After I had the baby, I was like, ‘These are the same people that made fun of me, and posted the stories that were so awful, calling me fat for something I couldn’t control…I don’t want to smile for them. I don’t want to be out.’ Even if I was more confident, I just didn’t feel like being that girl who was going to be smiling for every photo. It changed my mood; it changed who I was; it changed my personality a lot.”
While Kardashian didn’t mention her husband, Kanye West, in her defense of no longer smiling in photos, Yeezy has endorsed the no-smiling approach before. Several years ago he revealed that he was making an effort not to smile in photos because it looks so much “cooler.” “You know the paparazzi, always come up to me, ‘Why you not smiling?’ and I think, Not smiling makes me smile,” he said in 2015 while at the Daily Front Row’s Fashion Los Angeles Awards. “When you see paintings in an old castle, people are not smiling ’cause it just wouldn’t look as cool.”