Our smiles are one of our most powerful and important social tools. Not only has a great smile been shown to help ward against depression and secure a job, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry shows that 96% of men and women believe a great smile is the key to being found attractive by a potential mate. Clearly, having beautiful, pearly whites, whether you’ve had cosmetic dental work or you’re naturally pristine, is one of the keys to a happy life.
Now, some people believe the importance placed on a smile is just the result of great marketing by dental cosmetics companies. After all, as statistics from IBIS World show, dentists specializing in cosmetic dental work in the U.S. are worth more than $4 billion! However, the rise in cosmetic dentistry procedures was caused by our love of smiles, not the other way around, and to prove it, you need only look back at the Mona Lisa, the 16th century’s greatest beauty.
The Smile of Mona Lisa
Men have named you
You’re so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only cause you’re lonely
They have blamed you
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile”
These lyrics from Nat King Cole’s famous “Mona Lisa” demonstrate the world’s obsession with Mona Lisa and her beautiful, albeit crooked, smile. However, her unique beauty didn’t always earn her the accolades it does today. Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa in the early 16th century, in the middle of the Italian Renaissance. According to About.com’s 20th Century History, it’s likely Mona Lisa didn’t truly earn her fame until she was stolen from the Louvre in Paris in 1911. No one thought that someone would even think of stealing the painting, yet a cutpurse walked right up to the wall, removing the work of art from its pegs.
The true culprit of the crime was never discovered, but the Mona Lisa eventually fell back into the custody of its French caretakers at the Louvre. This scandal, one of the most striking the art world has ever known, skyrocketed the Mona Lisa into the realm of beloved art for all time. Now, according to Louvre.fr, more than six million people travel to Paris to see Mona Lisa smile annually. Of course, with so many prying eyes, French authorities have taken steps to avoid the painting being stolen ever again, placing a case of tinted, bullet-proof glass around this Italian artistic treasure. Even with the tinting of the glass, one thing shines through for all to see: Mona Lisa’s wonderful, crooked smile.
As you can see, Mona Lisa’s smile, along with her storied history, made her a legend. If you think your smile is holding you back from a life of happiness, if not one of notoriety, then contact a dentist specializing in cosmetic dental work. With the services they offer, you might just have songs written about you, too. Helpful research also found here.