Why do people have dimples?

+83 votes
asked Jun 16, 2015 in Science by ElaineMcNeil (230 points)
I find dimples really attractive! It makes a smile stands out more! It’s really adorable and I’m jealous of my friends that have them. Both her parents have them too and they look gorgeous. Even my mom has dimples. If it is genetics why didn’t I have it? Why do people have dimples? Why can’t I have dimples?

2 Answers

+29 votes
answered Aug 6, 2015 by RockySeeley (380 points)
Dimples are all genetics, although it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get one. Dimples are always regarded as a “dominant” genetic trait, so if both your parents had dimples, then you are certain to have this adorable trait as well. However, more studies are done and now we know that people with dimples are not guaranteed to pass it down to their own children. In fact, there is not enough research that classifies dimples are indeed a dominant trait. So there’s that. Theories on dimples are varying too, usually categorized to two theories. Dimples are the results of shorter muscles surrounding the mouth. While the other theory suggest that dimples are caused by defective facial muscle, a mutation to the muscle called zygomaticus major, the large muscles running in the side of your face, with dimples splitting them in two. The product of dual or bifid zygomaticus creates the small dents whenever a person is with dimples smile. There you have it, might actually be caused by birth defects.
+4 votes
answered Jul 6, 2015 by PerryMacGill (270 points)
So why do people have dimples? Dimples could be a leftover of our evolution. Few ideas around that, one says dimples relates to the face of young children and babies, evolved to appeal to adult humans, the same appeal of why we find them cute (or really ugly). Babies are made to be cute, after centuries of evolution, so they have big eyes, chubby cheeks and dimples, all so we will actually bother to keep them around. These dimples make us more willing to nurture them and make us feel good about seeing a dimpled face. Another idea is that it helps human to communicate with facial expressions. Dimples might make every expression we make, be it sadness, anger, etc. to look much more noticeable and at the right intensity. So people with a dimpled smile look more attractive since it makes their smile stands out. Nowadays it’s just an evolutionary advantage to look more sexually attractive, arguably. But yeah, you are more likely to find people with dimples to be more handsome and pleasing to the eyes. With that said, dimples are really just an evolutionary advantage to making people look more attractive and our emotion more obvious.
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