Why I fell in love with Mitchell Starc

Sushil Athreya
September 7, 2020

Although Mitchell Starc is a fantastic fast bowler, this post has nothing to do with cricket.

I want to talk about how he stole my heart 5 years ago. Apart from him being a tall, dark-eyed, handsome Australian bloke, a specific trait of his caught my attention. Something that instantly lifted my mood, irrespective of the situation. His damn smile.

Mitch Starc spreading unadulterated joy

I stared at the screen and questioned why his smile specifically, enchanted me. It took me quite a while to figure out what was going on but then it finally struck me. He’s one of those people that smile with their eyes. He was squeezing the muscles at the outside corners of his eyes while his smile spread across his cheeks.

I went through some old photos of mine to see if I had the same infectious smile. Firstly, there weren’t enough photos. Secondly, I saw the reason for the lack of photos. I just didn’t possess that smile. I wondered if I could make myself look happier when I smiled by mimicking Mitch Starc. So, I stood in front of the mirror and practiced for a length of time that I’m, quite frankly, embarrassed to admit. But, it worked. It not only made me look happier, but it also made me feel happier.

Can learning how to smile better make someone happier? Or was it the fact that I was smiling more? Is happiness something you can practise? I feel like I’m treading on thin ice here so we’ll leave this for another blog.

Back to Mitch Starc’s smile. Why am I writing this 5 years after I thought about all of it? Well, it turns out that I’m a huge KSI fan and I recently watched a video of him reacting to someone (got to love the meta) describing why KSI’s a good public speaker and a successful entertainer. Apparently, his smile is a big factor and there’s serious psychology behind it!

The smile I’ve been describing is called a Duchenne Smile. I’m not going to bother defining it because it gets slightly technical, so I’ve linked an article about it here. Psychologists have described it as the sole indicator of true enjoyment. It’s infectious and makes you fall in love with people. I’m glad I watched that video and learnt about the Duchenne smile. It gives me comfort in thinking that I’m not some sort of weirdo for falling in love with Mitch Starc and many others because of their smile.

If this post has made you smile at some point, let alone analyze your smile in front of the mirror, I’ve done my job. If it works, make sure to share it with your friends and let me know about it.

Post written by
Sushil Athreya