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Unveiling the science and charm of dimples

TARLAKENYO (July 9, 2024) — Today is Dimples Day. What do we know about these cheeky imperfections?

The charming little indentations that appear on our cheeks when we smile are called dimples. For some, they’re the epitome of cuteness; for others, a coveted feature they’d do anything to have.

Nature’s Quirk
Dimples occur due to a variation in the structure of facial muscles, specifically the zygomaticus major. This muscle is responsible for the movement of our cheeks when we smile. In people with dimples, this muscle splits into two, creating a small indentation in the skin. Think of it as nature’s way of giving your face a little extra flair!

Interestingly, dimples are often considered a dominant genetic trait, meaning if one of your parents has dimples, there’s a good chance you might too. However, this isn’t a guarantee; genetics is a quirky business, after all. I have a right cheek dimple – my older daughter has two dimples while the young one does not have any.

Why Do We Love Them?
Dimples have long been associated with attractiveness and charm. In many cultures, they are considered a sign of good luck and prosperity. Some even believe that those with dimples possess a more youthful and joyful appearance. After all, who can resist a smile that comes with a bonus feature? (Facial pockmarks are not dimples. I’ve been telling my friend Burog this for ages and yet he still insists. ‘Those are called craters,’ I once told him.)

In the world of pop culture, dimples have their own fan club. Celebrities like Alden Richards, Ruru Madrid, Carla Abellana, Cristine Reyes, Dimples Romana (of course!), among others, have all been admired for their adorable cheek craters. Their dimples add an extra touch of personality to their already dazzling smiles, making them even more memorable.

Dimple Fakery
For those not blessed by the dimple gods, there are ways to fake it till you make it. Some opt for dimple piercings, which create a similar effect by puncturing the cheek and creating a permanent indentation. Others go for makeup tricks, using contouring to mimic the shadow and depth of natural dimples.

In more extreme cases, there’s even a surgical procedure known as ‘dimpleplasty’. This cosmetic surgery involves making a small incision in the cheek and creating a dimple by manipulating the muscles and skin. It’s a testament to how far people will go in the pursuit of these tiny beauty marks.

And no, pressing your finger knuckle every morning against your cheek will not magically create a dimple for you. That’s just an old lola’s tale.

When a fake-dimpled person starts bragging about his dimple, just tell him that you’ve had yours since birth.

Embrace the Dimple
Whether you’re born with them, acquire them, or simply appreciate them from afar, dimples are a delightful reminder of the unique quirks that make us who we are. So next time you spot those little cheek dents in the mirror or on someone else’s face, smile at them – after all, they’re doing their part to make the world a cuter place, one dimple at a time.

Dimples are more than just skin deep. They are a fascinating blend of genetics, culture, and personal charm. So, here’s to the dimpled smiles that brighten our days and the science that makes them possible. Happy Dimples Day! – even to you non-dimpled people.

Ronald Dizon
Ronald Dizon
Ronald was correspondent for several Philippine dailies and weeklies a score of years ago and was editor of a South Pacific paper. He still writes for this online news service and several local weeklies. If he's not busy, you might catch him online on playing that godawful old game. "Aaaa kakakaka!!!!!"


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