In the aftermath of World War I, many cities in Central and Eastern Europe found their economies devastated, and with the rewriting of the map and national identities, people felt themselves unhinged from their previous history and life. This often led to depression, and in one city, depression led to suicides. Budapest, capital of the newly-formed Hungary, was one of the hardest-hit cities, with a suicide epidemic so bad it inspired the song “Szomorú vasárnap” (“Sad Sunday,” also known as the “Hungarian Suicide Song”), released in 1933. The song was covered by Billie Holiday as “Gloomy Sunday” in 1941, and later covered by Sarah MacLachlan, Sinead O’Connor, and Bjork. The Billie Holiday version was banned by the BBC because it was considered bad for morale during the Battle of Britain.
In order to counter the epidemic of suicides, the city decided to unleash the most powerful tool for human happiness: the smile. Initially a joke started by a professor and a hypnotist, a smile club was used to encourage people to learn how to smile beautifully so they would feel freer to show their smile.
At the club, people were instructed how to produce different smiles, including the Mona Lisa, the Clark Gable, the Dick Powell, the Loretta Young, and even the Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It’s worth noting that almost all of these examples are Americans, because Americans smile more than other countries.
Pictures of the smile club show people using medical tape to hold their faces in certain postures, being instructed in how to shape their smile from different models, and even strapping on pictures of smiles in case they can’t muster their own.
Although Budapest never really became known as the “City of Smiles,” as people hoped, the club probably did have some impact. It’s well known that we don’t just smile because we’re happy, we’re happy because we smile. Moving your facial muscles into a smile actually stimulates a more positive mood. Not only that, but your smile makes everyone around you more likely to smile and improves their mood.
If you’re uncomfortable with your smile and you choose to stifle it, you’re likely undermining your happiness. By not showing your smile, you cut off the positive reinforcement that improves your mood. The good news is that you can have a smile you’ll be happy to share. From tooth whitening to porcelain veneers, cosmetic dentistry has many tools that can improve the appearance of your smile.
To learn which one is right for you, please call 509-368-7788 or 509-228-3998 for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist in Spokane or Spokane Valley.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
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Spokane, WA 99223
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Our office in Spokane Valley is located at:
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Our Spokane office phone number is: 509-228-3998