Not My Best Side

symmetrical faces, asymmetrical face, camera disorder,
Is your face symmetrical? (Image: Julian Wolkenstein)

No one, ever, has taken a good picture of me. My daughter claims that I have some kind of disorder. It’s true. When a camera swivels in my direction I start twisting my face around in a clownish attempt to look presentable. She does a pretty good imitation of my so-called camera disorder. It consists of flared nostrils, raised eyebrows, lopsided smile, and what she calls “crazy eyes.” I guess that presentable thing isn’t working.

Maybe all this time I’ve been trying to even out what’s probably an asymmetrical face. Because according to researchers who spend their time studying such things, the symmetrical faces have it made.

Studies indicate that facial symmetry is an important component of attractiveness to both genders   It’s also assumed to be an indicator of health.

And those who are blessed with greater facial symmetry are more likely to hang on to their mental faculties as they age. At least for men.

In college I remember some pseudo-scientific project which claimed to find hidden aspects of political leaders’ personalities. The method involved flipping one side of a facial portrait over as a mirror image, making full portraits from the left side as well as the right side. I’ll admit there were major differences. Some of the politicians were downright two-faced. Especially Nixon.

Image credit:

Now it’s easy to check out our own symmetry by making these mirror image photos of our right and left “faces.”

Australian photographer Julian Wolkenstein completed a series of such portraits last year and as an ongoing project, provides instructions and a gallery for pictures of your left and right face portraits.

UK blogger Andy Shelly offers a similar plugin for GIMP.

Or try PicHacks.

Just remember, don’t take the results too seriously. You don’t want to develop my camera disorder.

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