Using FaceApp to put smiles on on museum paintings


Originally published at:


The horror, the horror.

Though in all fairness: that’s probably a good approximation how American smile looks to me and a couple other non-Americans.



The face detection will take pictures of dead people.

If your sense of humor is dark enough.


Well it certainly makes them more cheerful, but they all look like they have dentures.


FaceApp has become a source of mirth in almost any situation. Adding weirdly-real looking smiles to sculptures, paintings, animals, or babies is always a giggle.

But the “Old” setting is just… too real. People end up looking like their parents or grandparents. When people see themselves Old-ified, they back away and get very disturbed. It’s like looking into your future and it’s not pretty.

Do people in other countries smile in different ways?


Somebody should face app that guys twitter avatar.



Look for the lower teeth on smiling British athletes, an agreeable, big smile on Australians, and on the Americans, an assertive, upper-teeth-only smile that gives off a vague air of dominance.

Weird! I had no idea. I usually smile with my lips closed, anyways.


Somehow, those images are less “say cheese” and more “who cut the cheese?”


Strange, isn’t it? The other thing that really struck me was a segment from “Invisibilia” a year or two ago about the first McDonald’s in Russia, and how the smiling required in the job was off putting to Russians.


It’s fascinating how something that seems natural in one setting seems fake or unnatural in another. I grew up in the midwest and was used to servers in restaurants calling me “hon” or “sugar” and being casually chatty; the first time I took some life-long Bostonians to a Waffle House in the midwest, they were genuinely creeped out by what they saw as fake friendliness and wondered what the waitress was up to.


This is just ripe for all kinds of terrible abuse.


Wanna see horror? Turn this thing loose on some landscapes and still-lifes.


Looks a lot like this Twitter Bot:


If you load a photo and tap between original and smile (e.g. with the Mona Lisa) you get a nice Gilliamesque effect.


It’s not like there isn’t a huge overlap, but there are differences. Though my personal observations are also skewed by that most Americans I see are public persons, politicians, entertainers, actors playing a role. So the smiles aren’t probably not all genuine or at least more trained, like how German handshakes differ when done with a familiar person or with a stranger one meets to enter a formal, businesslike relationship with.


This is my daughter at 1.5 years with old filter and smile (she was already smiling closed lipped…) maybe they’re intentionally sparing babies and their parents the existential horror by delibarately seeding weird results…


I just saw this today:

Fortunately, not available for my Windows phone.


I learned in the 70s that giving Andrew Jackson a pleasant smile with a Rapidograph pen was scary. His face wasn’t made to hold such an expression. He looked more natural with Groucho make-up.