Monday, January 2, 2012

The Glasgow Grin

Who needs a smile more than a goth? But smiling isn't goth! How on earth can one come to terms with this?

Well, there is always the old Glasgow Grin...

A Glasgow grin (also known as a Glasgow smile, Anna grin, Chelsea grin or Chelsea smile) refers to the wound that results from slashing a person's face from the edges of the mouth to the ears. The cut, which is usually made with a utility knife or a piece of broken glass, leaves a scar that makes the victim appear to be smiling broadly. Sometimes the attacker will stab or kick the victim after cutting them to make them scream, so that the wound is opened further. The practice is said to have originated in Glasgow, Scotland, but also became popular with English street gangs as an intimidation tactic (especially in Chelsea, London, where it is known as a "Chelsea grin").

In the original story of The Man Who Laughs, the lead character was supposed to have undergone this treatment. The film version adapted this look to just a general maniacal grin:

Interestingly, things came full circle when Bob Kane was inspired by the film to create his famous Batman villain, The Joker. Of course, in the 2008 film The Dark Knight, the Joker was portrayed with a classical Glasgow grin back in place.

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