Most surprise is falsified - this is a fantastic viral video illustrating the facial expression of sincere surprise. Lisa May's boyfriend recorded his proposal initially disguised as a common selfie.
What follows is a partial body language analysis ...
Initial Fake Selfie
Eyebrows vectored downward and slightly inwards
Eyelids partially closed
She's thinking, trying to figure out what's her boyfriend is doing
Notice the diminution of the wrinkles on the bridge of her nose - she's no longer in deep concentration.
This image is in the milliseconds just before her surprise sets in.
Eyebrows have mostly relaxed upwards.
Contraction on bridge of nose completely relaxed.
This image is just after Ms. May's surprise is beginning. Both eyes are slightly opened more than baseline - particularly her left eyelid.
Eyebrows are relaxed (not downward directed)
0:17.4 early surprise
Very slight nostril flaring
Jaw begins to drop
Eyelids significantly more opened
Nostrils beginning to flare
Jaw more loose and dropping
(From where the old colloquial "slack-jawed" derives)
Eyelids and mouth opens more
Further opening of eyelids, nostrils and mouth
Forehead begins to contract
Prolonged Eyelid Closure simultaneous with Contraction of full width of forehead - indicates momentary disbelief.
She is emotionally processing this event. Her intellect knows what has happened - yet emotionally - she does not fully believe what has transpired.
Highly characteristic nonverbal mouth configuration of sincere surprise (It's opened more vertical than feigned surprise). No teeth are showing.
Still in disbelief
Forehead fully contracted
Eyes Wide Opened
Mouth Opened significantly Vertically
No Teeth Exposed
Both eyes and mouth opened even more than previous image
Greater vertical component to mouth
Not every surprise is a marriage proposal. Thus most INsincere surprises are difficult for most people to differentiate. Do you know how to tell the difference?
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