"Through the influences of vanity, aging, and insecurities, many find fault with their own faces and few achieve their own notions of perfection. Yet, in the course of such self-criticism, most people take for granted their own ability to explore and employ the full range of facial expressions and the range of emotions those expressions convey." Sage Sohier
"Most people I photograph are acutely aware of their imperfections and try to minimize them. Some have confided in me that, in their attempt to look more normal, they strive for impassivity and repress their smiles. They worry that this effort is altering who they are emotionally and affecting how other people respond to them." Sage Sahier (via)
Photographer Sage Sohier spent three months at a facial nerve clinic where she took pictures of patients with varying degrees of facial paralysis. She chose portraiture, a style that very much relies on exposing the face ... and its symmetry (via).
Symmetry is often considered to correlate with attractiveness. Most studies on symmetric faces images, however, found out that (natural) asymmetry is generally preferred to symmetry (Perrett et al., 1999). In fact, there are functional asymmetries in human faces for emotions, resemblance, and attractiveness. And even babies seem to be able to distinguish and to be more interested in beautiful than in symmetrical faces (Zidel & Cohen, 2005).
"When looking at someone with partial facial paralysis, we are in a sense seeing two versions of the same face at once, with each side conveying different emotions. Like gazing at a cubist painting, we observe multiple facets of someone in a single instant. As a visual artist, I find myself fascinated by the intensity of glimpsing two expressions simultaneously, a literal 'two-facedness' that mesmerizes by its terrible beauty." Sage Sahier
Perrett, D. I., Burt, D. M., Penton-Voak, I. S., Lee, K. J., Rowland, D. A. & Edwards, R. (1999) Symmetry and Human Facial Attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior, 20, 295-307
Zaidel, D. W. & Cohen, J. A. (2005) The Face, Beauty, and Symmetry: Perceiving Asymmetry in Beautiful Faces. International Journal of Neuroscience, 115, 1165-1173
Photos by Sage Sohier via and via and via