Chelsea Thomas was born with M¿bius syndrome, in which a nerve that transmits commands from the brain to the facial muscles is missing. As a result, for her first seven years Chelsea looked perpetually grumpy. Then surgeons transplanted nerves from Chelsea's leg to both sides of her mouth, and today Chelsea can do what most people in the world take for granted. She can smile.
Meanwhile, thousands of adults are botoxing the nerves that allow them to frown. Actors who do so cannot convey anger or fear, and some botoxed mothers complain that their children no longer take their admonitions seriously, accompanied as they are by the mothers' bland expressions.
This article was originally published with the title A Polite Smile or the Real McCoy?.