Sunday, 6 February 2011


We've been taking pictures of "faces" for quite some time and thought before posting this batch, we'd do some research.

Wikipedia tells us that:  "The face is a central sense organ complex, for those animals that have one, normally on the ventral surface of the head, and can depending on the definition in the human case, include the hair, forehead, eyebrow, eyelashes, eyes, nose, ears, cheeks, mouth, lips, philtrum, teeth, skin, and chin. The face has uses of expression, appearance, and identity amongst others. It also has different senses like olfaction, taste, hearing, and vision."

 The explanation makes us wonder somewhat, particularly when it talks about "for those animals that have one, normally on the ventral surface of the head."  Is that excluding animals that don't have a ventral surface (?) or those animals that don't have a face? 

(1) "Newborn babies prefer to look at attractive faces, says a UK researcher, suggesting that face recognition is hardwired at birth, rather than learned." (2) "Some researchers believe newborns can recognize their mothers almost immediately after birth but this is based primarily on voice recognition. True visual recognition probably takes a few weeks." 

Wikipedia also tells us that:  "From about age three, the child begins to combine circles and lines to make simple figures. At first, people are drawn without a body and with arms emerging directly from the head. The eyes are often drawn large, filling up most of the face, and hands and feet are omitted."

Another study suggests that "babies are born with a broad idea of what a face is.  By the time they're nine months old, though, face processing is based on a much narrower model, one that is based on the faces they see most often.

This more specialized view in turn diminishes our early ability to make distinctions among other species, and possibly other races. For instance, if an infant is exposed to mainly Asian faces, he or she will grow to become less skilled at discerning among different, say, Caucasian face."

"Non-verbal communication, in the form of facial expressions, may be impaired in people with schizophrenia. Researchers have now shown that deficits in non-verbal expressivity in schizophrenia are linked to poor social skills and an unawareness of the thoughts and intentions of others."

"The fairly new facial recognition systems work "on the fact that every face has numerous, distinguishable landmarks, the different peaks and valleys that make up facial features."  The systems define "these landmarks as nodal points. Each human face has approximately 80 nodal points. Some of these measured by the software are:

  • Distance between the eyes
  • Width of the nose
  • Depth of the eye sockets
  • The shape of the cheekbones
  • The length of the jaw line
These nodal points are measured creating a numerical code, called a faceprint, representing the face in the database."

Portraiture & faces in art are common.  There are numerous sites that feature "faces", how to draw them, things that look likes faces, explaining the psychology of expressions & feelings displayed and touting the beauty of faces in fashion.  "Of all the keys to reading human faces, eyes are the most expressive. So it is no wonder that most people prefer to have eye contact with people they are talking to. Eyes may be watchful or sleepy. They may glare with boldness and arrogance. They may be downcast and timid. They may be glazed with passion."

Walt Whitman wrote a wonderful poem about faces and the Helium Website has a page (or two) that showcases 27 short poems by more contemporary writers on faces. 

Interestingly enough, we Googled Fashion Faces and came up with this.  As time goes by, what Google brings up changes, so this was the first picture displayed after Googling Fashion Faces.  What kind of "statement" is that?

Wikipedia gave us the fascinating information that plastic surgery of the face was first discussed by Aulus Cornelius Celsus, who lived in the first century AD.  He described plastic surgery of the face, using skin from other parts of the body.

It's evident that many of us would wish to change our faces, whether because of small flaws, wrinkles or major problems. 

Most of us, however, are stuck with our faces but here's precious few that didn't spend time (at one time or another) looking into a mirror and wishing "if only this were slightly different or that was gone".  Coco Chanel said, "Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty."

If you're interested in seeing more pictures of Faces from us, click here