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What's the Deal With Dimples?

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Cheek dimples are almost universally viewed as appealing — cute, charming, even sexy. What are dimples, exactly? Why are they so desirable? And what if you don’t have them but really really want them?

Simply put, cheek dimples are small depressions in the skin near the mouth. There’s still some disagreement on exactly how they form, but safe to say, they’re caused by variations in a key facial muscle called the zygomaticus major. (Note that chin dimples are caused by different factors than cheek dimples — more on this in a future article.)

Dimples are inherited via dominant genes, meaning when parents have dimples it’s very likely their children will have them as well. Most people have two dimples, one on each cheek, but it’s not unusual for a person to have just one.

It’s a bit of a mystery why cheek dimples are viewed so favorably by almost everyone. It’s likely a combination of factors. For one thing, dimples are most apparent when people smile. If they showed up when people frowned, would they be popular? Not so much. Perhaps even more to the point, dimples are often most prominent in young children, and what's cuter than a happy child sporting a dimpled smile? Many kids with dimples ultimately lose them, or lose most of the indentations, as they grow older and facial muscles change.

In some countries, cheek dimples are extremely desirable. In some Asian cultures, for instance, dimples have traditionally been viewed as a sign of good fortune.

If Mother Nature didn’t grace you with dimples, you can find plastic surgeons who will correct the oversight. The procedure is performed through a small incision inside the cheek. Be advised that creating dimples is an inexact process; it’s very difficult to predict exactly how a dimple will appear on the surface of your cheek after the small wound heals.

There will be some suspense involved, but maybe a true dimple lover will grin and bear it?

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I have 8! 4 on each side! Man, I must be very good lookin'

November 25, 2012 - 5:52pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

They're like chins and breasts that way. You can never have enough of 'em.

January 30, 2016 - 6:55pm
EmpowHER Guest

Dimples are so hot and I have them !

July 21, 2010 - 3:05am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.