Sadness Tightlipped

Sad Facial Expressions Animals

Every person performs learned actions differently; everyone's instinctive actions are the same. Fighting back tears will invariably trigger the muscles that bulge and roughen the chin and the muscle that stretches the lips. Above are several faces where this action is in progress, and the same pattern is strikingly repeated.

Presidential campaigns are times when feelings run high. These four people are staff members watching their candidate give an emotional speech withdrawing from the campaign. They're not happy about it. On each successive face (clockwise from lower right) the lip-pressing conflict of distress and restraint is progressively more intense. The mouth at (A) is being stretched and compressed; the pattern below her mouth (raised island of mentalis, with sausage-like bulge above) is precisely repeated'at (B). At (C) and (D), crease and puffed cheek of zygomatic minor are barely visible. At (E), he's "biting his lip" with so much pressure that it has curled completely under itself. Little curled bulge of triangularis (F) is repeated at a similar spot on each face. (But does the woman on the right look sad because she's surrounded by sad people or because of some cue we see in her face?)

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