What is in a Face?

Artist: Amedeo Modigliani | Nu assis, 1918

I read an article from a sociological stand point the other day entitled "How to Love Ugly People." Yup, you read it right. I instantly laughed and then the title peaked my interest. I was curious as to what advice or perspective this article had to give.

It focused mainly on the inequality of "beautiful" people vs. "ugly" people, by facial comparisons. It also looked to art to aid in the shifting of our biases from what we find to be facial perfection in our culture currently.

Apparently, just like with art, the more we really study a painting and learn about its origins, the more we find ourselves engaged in its beauty. It suggests doing the same for individuals who have interesting facial features, hence not making them your typical handsome man or beautiful woman. The premise is that the more we study these faces, the more we will learn to discern and appreciate their attractive qualities.

Forget about being struck by someone's beauty, challenge yourself to finding someone's beauty, remain open to a face that may initially appear uninteresting. Perhaps their eyes are wise beyond their years, move past their nose, to their lips, which may be lusciously voluminous and ripe like apricots ready to be bitten into; I am paraphrasing here, but you can understand the position.

The article ends by saying that perhaps by making an effort to see the facial beauty in everyone that we could help to generate a world more apt to apply generosity and "ingenuity" to the way we read the human face.

All in all the article made good sense in finding beauty in the average day and person in general, but I suspect that most of us do this subconsciously already? I know that the more time I spend around certain people the more beautiful they become to me. I always look for the most beautiful feature on a persons face and watch it be alive. But then again, I am always in search of beauty, and it's like the article says, the more you look and study, the more you will be graced by its presence.

So let's all raise a conscious glass to finding beauty in the mundane and to "Loving Ugly People." -tM