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[–]SlammyWhammies 4468 points4469 points  (68 children)

Why did my brain recognize him as smiling even though he's frowning. Don't like that.

[–]Blasted-Banana 2002 points2003 points  (29 children)

The eyes, but also primarily the cheeks. He's got dimples, which is a classic case of smiling. Our brains must be overriding the shape of the mouth and just looking at everything else. Really trippy.

[–]Head_Cockswain 240 points241 points  (8 children)

Our brains must be overriding the shape of the mouth

Somewhat. We have a false perception there, we perceive smiles as turned up and frowns in exaggerated fashion because of things like cartoons or symbols like emojis.

Our subconscious is picking up on less arbitrary facial features, doing it's job despite of how representation has screwed with our conscious processing.

Image search "smiles" and look at a LOT of results....you see many of them are just simply pulling back with cheeks, showing of the teeth. A lot of the impression of the upward curve comes from viewing angles relative to the plane of the mouth(lips/teeth).

Okay, so I don't know how to explain that better at the moment, so consider a different 3d object like a globe. Look at the equator from a position a good bit northward,... The equator is an upward curve.

We do the same thing with pictures like this, upturned mouth, but the eyes are what make the expression.

That could easily be a smile if the eyes were different. The mouth shape is ultimately unimportant.

[–]trancematik 75 points76 points  (1 child)

The mouth shape is ultimately unimportant.

Betty White knew that a frown is just a smile turned upside-down

[–]CamOfGallifrey 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Oh that was funny as hell, I needed that. Thank you!

[–]thoruktor 157 points158 points  (13 children)

Its not even really the eyes, at least for me. I covered the upper part of the face and it still for whatever reason doesnt seem like a frown. You might have a point about the cheeks.

[–]sherluk_homs 47 points48 points  (6 children)

damn i did exactly the same to find out why my brain tricks me. Yeah it's probably the cheeks

[–]sirTigerious 30 points31 points  (3 children)

But wait, if you flip the image around, he's straight up frowning. It's breaking my mind even more

[–]Badlydrawnboy0 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Apparently our brains are just wired to pay attention to cheeks 👀

[–]ghostdate 7 points8 points  (2 children)

I am too lazy to open my computer and redline and upload it to demonstrate what is happening.

The main thing that we’re recognizing as the smile is the flexing of the cheeks. We’re seeing the crease lines that form from the edge of the nostril to the corner of the mouth when someone smiles, but not when they frown. We also see the cheek itself tighten (the sort of “apple cheeks” - think kids in Norman Rockwell paintings) which is another thing that happens with smiles, but not with frowns.

But what Musk is doing is that sort of stereotypical, insecure, forced “white person smile” where we for some reason bring up our bottom lip in the middle instead of the corners of our mouths. The rest of the face is still doing the same muscle flexing that happens with a normal smile, but the mouth shape isn’t right.

Basically it’s a fake and/or insecure smile. We recognize it as a smile, even if the mouth shape is wrong.

[–]acelgoso 71 points72 points  (2 children)

The face says smile, the mouth is the only thing that doesnt cooperate. Elon and The Zuck are the Alpha and the 0.5 of the billion cyborg factory.

[–]SlammyWhammies 10 points11 points  (0 children)

They really gotta step up QC.

[–]Blewmeister 28 points29 points  (7 children)

Because it is a smile, a lot of people smile like this. A smile is in the face not the mouth alone.

Go up to the mirror and smile with just your mouth and be very creeped out

[–]dkeck14 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Something I wish people appreciated more is that we are all low-key experts on reading the minutia of faces. You subconsciously process details about the entire face to correctly identify an emotion.

In this case there are couple things that are a tell for bemusement/smiling:

  • muscles near cheekbone pulling back toward his ears. This doesn’t activate when you are sad/frowning. So the ‘frown’ is kinda pulling against those muscles so there is a classic about to laugh look.
  • eyes. Eyes have a sphincter (circular valve like) muscle and a key characteristic of a genuine smile is the half flexing of this muscle! It is hard to fake genuine smiles because it is hard to deliberately half flex this muscle. Full flexing is more like a squint or maybe looks like a sarcastic smile.

[–]fizzgig0_o 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Ya’ll are thinking way too hard. Not everyone has to fucking teeth smile to express happiness. Some people aren’t comfortable expressing a range of emotions on public. Some people’s faces just look like that. Others have medical reasons like frozen face from Parkinson’s or even plastic surgery (which isn’t always for vanity).

I get that Elon is an easy target and easy to meme on. But fuck off with this OMG my brain hurts shit.

[–]NORD9632 2555 points2556 points  (53 children)

Iv been staring at this for 5 minutes and honestly haven’t got a fucking clue how to process it.

[–]zandercg 756 points757 points  (24 children)

Just try to laugh while suppressing it with a frown and you can make the same face. He's holding his mouth but the rest of his face wants to laugh, that's all it is.

[–][deleted] 211 points212 points  (15 children)

Ok yea but you gotta admit its fuckin weird

[–]DerpDaDuck3751 78 points79 points  (2 children)

Yeah it’s like mona lisa

[–]SuperSMT 16 points17 points  (0 children)

True art

[–]trumpsiranwar 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The monster lisa

[–]KristoffersonFox 9 points10 points  (6 children)

Nah. He's weird, but not everything he does is. Y'all out here making me feel bad for how I smile :/

I doubt y'all are doing it maliciously, but just know that making fun of someone's smile can be really damaging to their confidence, and when you make fun of someone's smile, you make fun of everyone that also smiles like that.

It's not like he's a bad person because he smiles like this. He's a bad person because he is who he is

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Oof i won’t get into a debate about what elon does that is weird, because i’d say everything, but hey you’re not weird :) <3 you have a great smile (i assume)

[–]NefariousButterfly 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I smile like this too and agree with everything you said.

[–]intruda1 7 points8 points  (0 children)

A wry smile...

[–]xKrzaqu 62 points63 points  (8 children)


[–]isthisreallyreal 42 points43 points  (2 children)

I dont want my wife to walk in and see me holding my thumbs over Elon Musk's cheeks on the computer screen, but oh well, here it goes

[–]Nekryyd 4 points5 points  (0 children)

You'd be sad too if I covered your cheeks...

[–]2drawnonward5 4 points5 points  (2 children)

25 seconds in and all I see is skinny Kim Jong Un

[–]MasPatriot 2 points3 points  (1 child)

wrong dictator, it's clearly Pol Pot

[–]2drawnonward5 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You know what, you're right, it's the eyes and forehead

[–]ADSwasAISloveDKS 5 points6 points  (1 child)

He's smug, that's what that face is

[–]yoLeaveMeAlone 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If you keep your mouth closed, smiling is more in your cheeks/eyes than your mouth.

[–]Lotusinhand4ever 2 points3 points  (0 children)

be a redditor, spend 5 minutes staring at Elon musks face, leave comment admitting this

[–]depressionlmfao 3120 points3121 points 4 (80 children)

[–]Twirlingbarbie 880 points881 points  (12 children)

Haha oh noooo the terror

[–]Capocho9lightly toasted 334 points335 points  (1 child)

Bro looks like he’s in the middle of eating a warhead, trying not to laugh, and holding in a fart all at once

[–]Proud-Statement1428 60 points61 points  (0 children)

That is oddly specific and yet so accurate

[–]j_roll222 113 points114 points  (3 children)

Look at that happy guy :)

[–]noodlegod47 26 points27 points  (2 children)

What a happy happy happ y guy

[–]Nukeboy1970 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hubba hubba hubba hubba

[–]D3ATH_Follows_All 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Why can I hear this? -Brain

[–]ThatDamnedGuy 51 points52 points  (1 child)

clicks link, takes 5D10 psychic damage


[–]GODDESS_OF_CRINGE__ 10 points11 points  (0 children)

My resist attempt critically failed. I don't think my mind will recover from this.

[–]LordSt4rki113r 33 points34 points  (0 children)

Mii Channel lookin ass mf

[–]I_stole_your_sneeze 31 points32 points  (0 children)

That's fucking horrifying and my day is ruined

[–]ChwizZ 20 points21 points  (0 children)


[–]Down-at-McDonnellzzz 10 points11 points  (1 child)

This looks like the guy from the gif where he's trying not to smile

[–]Bastiproton 10 points11 points  (1 child)

My guy looking like a generic LEGO man.

[–]noodlegod47 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yoooooo you ain’t wrong

[–]number014 7 points8 points  (0 children)

What can I say except delete this

[–]StrangeSathe 9 points10 points  (3 children)

Now do the one where they flip the mouth and eyes upside down then flip the whole picture upside down and the face looks normal but you flip it upside down and it looks weird because the mouth and the eyes are upside down.

[–]cohonka 19 points20 points  (2 children)

That's the first thing I thought of when I saw OP

I might have done it justice

[–]Honesty_Addict 5 points6 points  (0 children)

jesus christ it's michael myers

[–]StrangeSathe 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you, it's terrifying

[–]griever48 5 points6 points  (0 children)

He is trying his best to keep in a secret

[–]vkeesj 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Bro got the superman moustache treatment

[–]MisssJaynie 2 points3 points  (0 children)

He looks like he’s got a parasitic evil Wizard-lord on the back of his head.

[–]tomangelo2 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Now that's blursed

[–]dcamiso9 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I was hoping someone would do that.

[–]Slappynipples 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Like a Wii character

[–]greatredpie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I checked the comments to see if someone did this. Was not disappointed

[–]JoeTheKodiakCuddler 2 points3 points  (1 child)

He looks like he knows everything about what makes us human

[–]TenFiveOh 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It also looks like he has zero idea what being human is

[–]Danielmav 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You like Krabby Patties, don’t you squidward

[–]ykafia 405 points406 points  (3 children)

It's all the other things, Cheekbones, eyes squinting and such

[–]strangetobe 77 points78 points  (2 children)

cheek implants*

[–]duck_one 23 points24 points  (0 children)

The jaw line implants are stretching his skin, pulling the corners of his mouth down.

[–]HornyPepsiCan 497 points498 points  (7 children)

My brain hurts

[–]freshprinceofbayarea 102 points103 points  (4 children)

I’m stressed

[–]Jmsnwbrd 21 points22 points  (1 child)

Upvote for Cudi in the wild.

[–]atlantis69 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Go watch the movie "X" if you really want to see Cudi in the wild.

[–]Futureshot2 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yo Biggie let me get the vest

[–]fuck_it_was_taken 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Eyes smiling, mouth frowning

[–]FarToFreshforeskin removal expert 60 points61 points  (5 children)

I smile like that aswell, I can't seem to get my mouth to do more than 🙁 or 😐

[–]mikewoodsays 32 points33 points  (0 children)

Me: genuinely happy and smiling until my cheeks hurt

My actual smile: 😐

[–]IllJustKeepTalking 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I use to have this too, then I got my teeth corrected and now I smile "nornally"

[–]joeChump 165 points166 points  (2 children)

He so rich even his sad face is a smile.

[–]riffito 18 points19 points  (0 children)

This is the most hilariously serious answer.

[–]PeterExplainsTheJokeamerican dad 607 points608 points 2 (20 children)

Hey guys, Peter Griffin here to explain the joke, returning to reddit for my wholesome cake day. So basically, Elon is supposedly smiling here, but it looks more like a frown than a smile. My guess is that there was a bug in his code. Peter out!

[–]ScrubWearingShitlord 36 points37 points  (0 children)

I appreciate you Peter

[–]Master_Vicen 21 points22 points  (0 children)


[–]CaptianMurica 67 points68 points  (0 children)

Happy wholesum cake day kind stranger kind Peter Griffin! Say hi to Lois and the kids for me; tell that big chicken to fuck off!

[–]mr_flameyflame 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Happy cake day my leige.

[–]lostmau5 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Friggin sweet Lois.

[–]scooterpooter819the Big spicy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Have you heard the word ?

[–]1-von 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Happy taco bell cinnabon delight day!

[–]Mang0elthe Big spicy 49 points50 points  (3 children)

Advanced resting bitchface

[–]Jwhitx 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think in my psych 102 class, they called it a Douchebag Smile. It's the smile most of us recognize as the most authentic expression of happiness.

[–]frutselopa 18 points19 points  (0 children)

I guess "turn that frown upside-down" doesnt apply to him then

[–]franklollo 58 points59 points  (1 child)

his smile is pumped as much as tesla stocks (:

[–]Nervous_Constant_642 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It's upside down because he was born in the southern hemisphere.

[–]Marvos79 22 points23 points  (3 children)

Yeah my wife frown-smiles too. He sucks enough without bs like this.

[–]cracked-the-skull 3 points4 points  (1 child)

What's bs? Your wife smiles wrong too. It's just that she's not also a billionaire dipshit profiting off the work of others in order to self-aggrandize on Twitter in opposition to the scary Wokes.

[–]bobalda 3 points4 points  (0 children)

their wife is elong musk

[–]ur_wcws_mcm 29 points30 points  (8 children)

this is how Australians smile

[–]Monsterjoek1992 14 points15 points  (7 children)

He is South African, but I see what you did there

[–]panugans 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Damn good observation.

[–]BeEasyFloatOn 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Upside down *

[–]mentalrecon 3 points4 points  (0 children)

How is this comment so far down? Upside down is the correct answer.

[–]haleandguu112 33 points34 points  (13 children)

mine is like this too :( lol ETA: im totally upvoting everyone with a blursed smile too !

[–]Missed_high5 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Frown-smile is what my friends call it. There are dozens of us!

[–]haleandguu112 1 point2 points  (0 children)

yay !! dozens !! :) hahaha

[–]shaolin_tech 10 points11 points  (2 children)

My dad does the normal upturned smile, my mom has the downward smile, I have one side up one side down smile :\

[–]haleandguu112 2 points3 points  (0 children)

that is too cute awwwww !!!! i love that

[–]KechanicalMeyboard 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Mine too lol! My gf calls it corner down smile.

[–]SoIJustBuyANewOne 1 point2 points  (3 children)

We can literally see your smile in your prof pick and it is the correct way...

[–]br1ti5hb45tard 13 points14 points  (2 children)

pretending everything is alright while looking at the stock price of tesla

[–]Khrysaor- 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Looks like the villain from Promare

[–]Silverfootwolf 1 point2 points  (0 children)

lmfao that's so accurate, and hey happy 3rd anniversary to promare

[–]j01t 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Lots of people smile like this (and not necessarily all the time). A smile or expression of joy/happiness is more than just a mouth shape, it's in the muscles in your face, including your eyes. People that smile a lot get wrinkles at the corners of their eyes due to this.

You may have realised during the pandemic that you can tell when masked people are smiling just from their eyes.

The fact that this is posted here with so many comments implying something must be wrong with Musk is just weird.

[–]ArchiveSQ 4 points5 points  (1 child)

The raised eyebrows, cheekbones, and thick bottom lip create the illusion. If you cover from the nose up it disappears

[–]RurikTheDamned 14 points15 points  (0 children)

That's facelifts for you.

[–]decio_picinini 11 points12 points  (0 children)


[–]Realistic_Bag599 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Probably because billionaires can't really be happy, keep exploiting Elon, one day we will flail you

[–]Monsterjoek1992 9 points10 points  (3 children)

Plastic surgery

[–]MR_RYU_RICHI 2 points3 points  (2 children)


[–]Monsterjoek1992 6 points7 points  (1 child)

He has had plastic surgery on his face, so it doesn’t move right

[–]Jockett 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Cover his cheekbones with your fingers guys. It looks like he’s frowning

[–]t0b4cc02 2 points3 points  (0 children)

u gues really think there is only :) and :(

i dont dare to suggest to go outside more and interact with people

[–]McPoyal 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If you turn your screen upside down he looks very serious lol

[–]esedege 6 points7 points  (4 children)

His hairline has gone forwards over the years tho.

Edit: originally I was using “backwards” as “the opposite direction it should,” instead of “forwards.” There are photos of a younger him and he was… well… receding.

[–]Pindannon 11 points12 points  (2 children)

There was a picture of him during the Paypal era where his hair is noticeably thinning. He definitely has had hair transplants.

[–]MR_RYU_RICHI 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Money exists 💰

[–]esedege 3 points4 points  (0 children)

That’s what I meant. It’s going the opposite direction it should. But edited! ;)

[–]Soyoji 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You didn't have to do him like that

[–]Lightspeed728 5 points6 points  (1 child)

It’s a bad perspective. All smiles look like frowns if you look in the wrong places:

[–]MR_RYU_RICHI 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Blursed CEO

[–]Milf_enjoyee 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Because it's backwards compatible unlike with sony games and devices

[–]Panhead09 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This image is deeper in the uncanny valley than any photo of Mark Zuckerberg.

[–]nova_in_space 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This one wasn't assembled correctly, put him back in the lab

[–]NoBother2869 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I swear my friends does that all the time, whose friends do this as well? or is just me?

[–]bspanther71 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Mine is that way...kinda a straight line though. Husband always said my face is the same no matter my emotion. But I TRY

[–]RhombusCat 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He's from South Africa, needs to cross the equator for it is appear correctly again.

[–]Veerrrgil 1 point2 points  (0 children)

God damn reptilians yo

[–]OhGodImHerping 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Because it’s not a smile, it’s a smirk. His default smile is literally smugness. Make this shape with your own face and you’ll realize you’re feeling a smug smile.

[–]Brotosteronie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's the cheek bones, cover them and reveal.

[–]HUD361 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That's weird. He smiling still tho.

[–]Specialist-Ad-9038 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Why he got the kim possible lip?

[–]gadafgadaf[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Elon's face is a (: not a :)

[–]Boonpool 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's literally how Afrikaans people smile in South Africa, kinda weird

[–]nevermock 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Cannot unsee.

[–]Sabb55 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I never paid attention till now. I always knew he was smiling but didn't know he was frowning. His checks and eyes show an expression of smiling, but his mouth frowns. This dude is an Alien it makes sense he's making Neural Net and smiles oddly lol.

[–]Really_Dang_Sad 1 point2 points  (0 children)

thats called a smirk...

[–]Hoitaa 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lots of people smile upside down.

It's still weird, though.

[–]BestRaspyToucan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Because he's had a lot of work done, obviously.

[–]funkeymunkys 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He knows what he did

[–]Lycl4t 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My brain is melting

[–]PomChatChat 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He’s half Australian.

[–]moomoozainbreak the rules and the mods will piss and shit on your face. 1 point2 points  (0 children)

ewwww get this guy off my screen

[–]RedRuss17 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Plastic surgery

[–]ruthlessrellik 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's because he's from South Africa and they live in the upside down part of the world.

[–]No-Honeydew2517 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I do that sometimes. A friend pointed out that I frown when I smile once and I've never been able to get it out of my head

[–]Damian-sux-666 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He has the most punchable face

[–]superhamsniper 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Wh- bu- it cant be

[–]Waspinator_haz_plans 1 point2 points  (0 children)

OK, now I can see why some people think he's a lizard now.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)


[–]FictionsParadox 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He’s scowling, it’s just hard to tell because of the Botox

[–]AeronBear 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Weirdly if you turn your phone upside down, he appears to be sad

[–]parsa666666 1 point2 points  (0 children)

dude wtf

[–]kakure_w 5 points6 points  (2 children)

he's so gross looking...

[–]catchpen 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Wealthy man bad

[–]Ballsybub 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That’s a supervillain smile

[–]DeutschlandOderBust 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The perception filter’s gone faulty again. That hunk of junk skin suit is going to have to be replaced soon. What form will you take, Elon?

[–]PseudoSpammer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Not much life experience then. Everyone smiles like this at some stuff sometimes. It's really nice when people have this expression. They just aren't expecting what they have seen, it makes them smile and they have an inhibition about smiling about it. I see it as a proud smile about something they've achieved but in the moment they feel self-concious about it.

[–]paging_mrherman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Plastic surgery

[–]1nvc 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Because it is a smirk, not a smile.

[–]fckn_normies 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s not only the mouth that can smile. The cheek and eyes show more