By Telegraph reporters 10:37AM GMT 11 Mar 2013
Unattractive people, on the other hand, are seen as unappealing even if they smile broadly because the underlying structure of the face is what others recognise, not the expression.
But expressions can still make a small difference as a signal of whether someone is worth pursuing as a mate, the researchers found.
Dr Ed Morrison, of the Department of Psychology at the University of Portsmouth, wanted to study whether attractiveness was more to do with how you look or how you present yourself.
He found facial attractiveness remained steadfast in other people’s minds no matter what expression a person displays.
Dr Morrison said: “The hard tissues of the face are unchangeable and it seems people, both men and women, can tell if the underlying structure of the face is attractive or not no matter what expression a person has on their face.
“Evolutionary theory has long suggested facial attractiveness is one of the key cues of someone’s biological quality and that humans prefer an attractive face when choosing a mate.”