The younger of my twin granddaughters (by a whole two minutes) is a living, breathing Kewpie doll--as in one of those figurines made to resemble the artwork of Rose O'Neill, whose comic strip-like illustrations of the rosy-cheeked, bare nakey imps first appeared in Ladies Home Journal in 1909. Her older sister, known in this blog as "Bonny Babe," breaks into wide, open-mouthed, lower toofy-baring smiles at the drop of a hat; but you have to work a little harder to get one of those out of the baby girl I've been calling "Cutie Pie." She does bestow them upon you sometimes; but she's more apt to study you, with a serious expression on her exquisite little face, while you work diligently at making silly faces and funny noises to coax a smile out of her. Then you're most often rewarded with a shy, tight-lipped little grin--just like the one in the picture on the left here. (Her parents call this her coy smile; I'm going to call it her Kewpie doll smile--and in fact, I think I'm going to change her blog nickname to "Kewpie.")
I say this coming from the perspective of being the grandma, who hasn't been around enough to have fully made my way into her trusted inner circle yet. Her mommy and daddy can make her face break wide open quite a bit more easily than I can. I do get those huge, gummy smiles from my Cutie Pie now and again, and when I do, I'm on cloud 9. But I love the Kewpie doll smiles, too. They are uniquely hers, and it's interesting to see that even with identical twins, there are very distinct, individual personalities.