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Want to look more approachable and interesting? Chew gum

Can chewing gum make you appear to be more approachable, or even make people think you would be fun at a party or have an active sex life? One experiment says yes.


How to look like an interesting person

At the Contemporary Art Museum in Buenos Aires, an installation was set up to examine peoples’ perception of what a person looks like when they are and are not chewing gum, and the fascinating result was that gum chewing reportedly made people appear more approachable, interesting, and even sexier, as seen in the video above, where 481 participants overwhelmingly found the gum chewing twin to be the more positive figure of the two.

Bearing in mind that this experiment is not at all scientific, we have no assurances as to how lighting, makeup, or casting was done, and also bearing in mind that it was paid for by Beldent, a gum company, it is interesting, nonetheless.

It is interesting to note from a marketing standpoint, that this is brilliant marketing – instead of showing a pop star dancing around, chewing gum as expected, this experiment does away with the stereotypes surrounding gum chewing, as most people anticipate a gum chewer to be rude or under-educated, generally speaking.

Identical twins were sat down side by side in the same outfit, with only one difference – bum. Random people were asked a set of questions regarding which of the two appears more attractive, more likely to have a better sex life, more likely to give a raise or get invited to a party, and without prompting, the universal answer was the gum chewer.

We have a theory about the experiment

Although not scientific, we do feel that the experiment offers some valuable insight into the well documented power of body language. Gum chewing simply activates your facial muscles, and while we don’t recommend chewing with your mouth open or during a professional presentation, perhaps it is one of many ways to activate your facial muscles instead of looking like the boring twin who is zoned out.

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According to HowStuffWorks, “There are 43 muscles in the face, most of which are controlled by the seventh cranial nerve (also known as the facial nerve). This nerve exits the cerebral cortex and emerges from your skull just in front of your ears. It then splits into five primary branches: temporal, zygomatic, buccal, mandibular and cervical. These branches reach different areas of the face and enervate muscles that allow the face to twist and contort into a variety of expressions.”

If you’re not Bill Nye, that excerpt simply means that our faces are complicated and intertwined, and activating them is obviously going to portray a more alive and attractive face than their being dormant. If gum isn’t your thing, remind yourself to lift your eyebrows or smile, or wake your dang face up. Or just do what the gum conglomerates want, and stock up on some gum.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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