Body Language Analysis №4000: Garbiñe Muguruza, Wimbledon, and Sincerity — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (PHOTOS)
Yesterday Garbiñe Muguruza defeated Venus Williams for the 2017 Woman’s Singles Title at Wimbledon (7–5, 6–0). It was Ms. Muguruza’s second major title after her 2016 French Open Victory. Venus Williams has appeared in nine Wimbledon finals, winning five — and has a total of seven major titles.
In the image above (close-up below) is Garbiñe Muguruza celebrating her win on centre court. Most people would say, particularly given the context of this moment, that she is smiling. Yet she’s not showing any teeth. And you’d be surprised at the prevalence of the belief that if a person is not showing teeth — then their smile is not a sincere one (aka a “Duchenne Smile”). But this is a FALSE premise — for no teeth need be showing for a smile to be a sincere one.
Notice Ms. Muguruza’s expression:
1. A relaxed (non-contracted) forehead
2. Partially closed eye lids
3. Concave-up furrows in her lower eyelids
4. Her cheeks are primary vectored upward (with a minor/secondary lateral component)
5. No teeth are showing
The first four are REQUIRED components of a sincere smile, while the fifth is not. Garbiñe Muguruza is thus suppressing the mouth component of her smile. However, if teeth were showing, they should only be the upper teeth (with the exceptions being: lower teeth can be displayed during the crescendoing to, or when decrescendoing from sincere laughter — or an elevated camera/viewing angle or downward tilted head).
Nuancing Ms. Muguruza’s nonverbal signs even further we see:
7. Dimples (left side not visible)
While blushing is NOT required for a smile to be sincere, if you have any doubt — and you DO SEE blushing — its presence serves to verify sincerity.
Dimpling is somewhat similar to blushing in this manner — although not with such high reliability. That is to say, most of the time — when a person who dimples (aka a “dimpler”) displays her/his dimples — then their smile is sincere. However, there is a subset of “dimplers who will dimple during insincere moments and with more negative emotions (e.g., regret, bitterness, etc.).
This post and the associated website serve as reference sources for the art and science of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc., are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts — not to advance any political, religious or other agenda.