I'm not sure when or where it was first planted, but I grew up with the idea that symmetrical faces were the most attractive. The notion that only certain kinds of faces, features, and bodies deserve to be deemed beautiful or worthy undoubtedly stems in part from the seemingly endless portrayal of Photoshopped humans in the media. For a long time, I felt like my face wasn't as beautiful as it could be because it wasn't perfectly symmetrical. But I later came to realize how sad and wrong that line of thinking can be.
These days, I've stopped deeming my facial structure inferior simply because it doesn't evenly line up at either side of my nose. In fact, the more I thought about all this and closely examined pictures of both people I knew and celebrities I thought had the most even of faces, the more I realized that I'm not sure I've ever actually seen a person who has a perfectly symmetrical face.
My misshapen nostrils, that wonky eyebrow, my lazy eye, and that deep curve in only one corner of my smile make up my face. To celebrate all things uneven, here are nine reasons to love your own asymmetrical face.
1. It Makes You Unique
Maybe that's a pretty obvious reason to love your own face, but it's still a good one. No one else has the same one (except for your identical twin, if you have one of those). Your face — and all its so-called flaws — is there for you to celebrate, to love, and to appreciate.
2. There Are Two Sides To Every Selfie
An asymmetrical face usually looks different on each side. Maybe you've grown accustomed to deeming one half of your face the "good" side. But just consider the fact that the other side of your face gives you more variety when you're taking photos.
I remember getting a comment from one of my friends on Facebook who had obviously gone through several of my past profile pics. She said, "You look so different in each one!" This was a compliment to me, because I'm huge fan of variety. Celebrating both sides of my face has actually given me more confidence than when I limited myself to only right-cheek-photos.
3. It's Eye-Catching
There's a reason abstract art is a thing. I'm not saying my face — or yours — is abstract in that its lopsided, irregular, or whatever other image the word might bring to mind. Rather, I am saying that our faces are works of art.
Asymmetry has quirks to it. It draws you in, and gives you that sense of wonder that art often tends to elicit. Facial asymmetry is also memorable. When there's more to look at and more for someone's brain to process when looking at you, there's likely more of a chance that you're going to stand out.
4. The Added Mystery
I once thought my slight lazy eye (the one on the right) made me look peculiar, but now I see the difference in size and slant as more "smoldering mystery" than "goofy." Once you commit to being positive, you never know what you might end up appreciating about yourself, and that vibe will catch on to the people around you.
5. It's A Sign Of Growth
That's me in 1994 and 2000, followed by 2008 and today. My face has progressively gotten more and more asymmetrical, because that's just how life works sometimes. I was looking at my 5-month-old daughter's face and how perfectly even it looks. But she, too, will likely gather some idiosyncrasies as she ages — and that's nothing to be worried about. Having an asymmetrical face just shows the growth I've had as an individual. It's a sort of symbol of the life I've lived, and I'm proud of that.
6. Because Who Cares?
Are you exhausted of beauty standards? I sure am. There is no time for worrying — let alone actually caring — about how my facial features line up and compare to the images in my media streams. The end.
7. It's Natural
Once I realized that most people actually have a bit of asymmetry in their faces, I stopped feeling like the odd ball out. However, what's pretty cool is that even though it's a common phenomenon, there's a ton of aesthetic variation in facial asymmetry person to person.
8. You're In Good Company
Some folks actually study the symmetry of faces. David Perrett, professor at the St. Andrews University School Of Psychology and Neuroscience, researched the way people process faces — including those of several celebrities. If humans can appreciate the likes of Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, and Harrison Ford in all of their asymmetrical glory, then we can all give ourselves the acceptance and love our faces (and bodies) deserve.
9. It's An Opportunity To Love Yourself
For a long time, I only approved one half of my face being photographed. But since it wasn't on my "good side," I never would have fallen in love with my beauty mark had it not been for finally accepting my asymmetrical face. Any area of your body that you haven't yet come to terms with can provide a chance for you to learn to love yourself more if only you decide to do so. And the more you love what you see in the mirror, the easier it will usually be for others to love it, too.
Being ashamed or annoyed about my face was not a place I wanted to stay. But becoming comfortable in front of my own camera or my bathroom mirror by taking lots of selfies and gazing at my cheeks with a positive mindset set me free from social stigma. Don't shy away from looking at yourself. Because the more comfortable you get with seeing how you truly look, the more you'll hopefully accept everything you see.
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Images: Christie Drozdowski (6)