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People ‘Never Smiled In Old Photos’ For Some Very Bizarre Reasons

Tom Wood

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People ‘Never Smiled In Old Photos’ For Some Very Bizarre Reasons

If you’ve ever looked at an old photo, perhaps you’ve spotted that nobody ever seems to be smiling in them.

Did you ever wonder why that is?

Times were hard back in the day and there wasn’t much to smile about.

Money was tight, the world was a blackened and polluted mess and stood on the brink of global conflict.

OK, so maybe it wasn’t that different to now after all, but that hasn’t stopped today’s modern photo subjects from baring their teeth in a grin regardless.

However, there are some good reasons for people refusing to show any mirth in their photos, and they’ve been handily explained for us by TikToker Dylan Page.

Credit: De Luan/Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: De Luan/Alamy Stock Photo

In a short video, Page – who has more than three million followers – explained some reasons behind the lack of laughter in old pics.

First off, people straight up didn’t like photography. Relatable, huh?

Yes, people were scared of photographs. It was a new technology that people didn’t really understand, and probably could have seemed a bit like a trip to the dentist.

Furthermore, beauty standards were different back then. Having a small mouth was actually a desirable thing – which brings us onto another problem – dental hygiene wasn’t quite what it is today.

If you had a mouth full of rotting teeth, you wouldn’t want to be preserved for posterity with them out, would you?

Credit: De Luan/Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: De Luan/Alamy Stock Photo

Another thing you’d want to avoid was looking like you had some sort of mental illness.

Having a wide smile was construed as a symptom of ‘madness’ back in the day, whereas standing still and emotionless wasn’t at all weird.

Lastly, there’s the simple operational reason that photographs just took ages to take back in the olden days.

From front to back, taking a picture on an old camera could have taken up to 15 minutes, meaning that holding the one facial position rather than your resting face would probably end up getting a bit painful and tedious after a bit.

In fact, the whole process of standing around for 15 minutes trying to remain as still as possible must have been a bit of a nightmare to begin with.

Anyway, if you want to have a look at Dylan’s full video on it, you can see that below.

So, the next time you’re having a picture and aren’t really feeling it, just tell whoever is taking it that you’re not going to smile as a nod to the pioneers of photo posing.

Featured Image Credit: Art Directors & TRIP/David Scott/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Weird, TikTok, Technology

Tom Wood
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