The Personalist Project

Smile vs. grimace

The voluntary smile is not a smile at all, but a kind of grimace which, while it may have its own species of sincerity—as in the smile of Royalty, which as it were pays lip-service to good nature—is not esteemed as an expression of the soul.  On the contrary, it is perceived as a mask, which conceals the ‘real being’ of the person who wears it. Smiling must be understood as a response to another person, to a thought or perception of his presence, and it has its own kind of intentionality. … The smile of love is a kind of intimate recognition and acceptance of the other’s presence—an involuntary acknowledgement that his presence gives you pleasure.

Roger Scruton, Sexual Desire