Maybe Everyone DOES Have a Good Side

by Rebecca Jane Stokes

You know how, like, having a perfectly symmetrical face is supposedly the key to being considered a hottie with a body and also face that won't quit? Well, if you didn't, it's a thing.

All your features existing in perfect harmony and balance with their counterparts is apparently the key to making one truly babelicious (that is, if Italian painters of the Renaissance are to be believed.) Photographer Alex John Beck (give it up for my fellow three-name-haver) put this theory to the test when he made totally symmetrical portraits of a series of sitters.

Gut reaction: It's creepier than you think it's going to be! Beck presents a left-side mirrored portrait and then a right-side mirrored portrait. So, while you get a sense of what each sitter looks like, you never actually see their real face. My takeaway from this artistic experiment is that Barbra Streisand (OK, Ariana Grande) totally knows what she's doing when she insists on being shot from her left side: We've all got a stronger side of our face.

Admittedly, I could be finding false solace in this because my face is so asymmetrical. For real. It always looks like my glasses are crooked. They aren't, y'all – that's just how my ears do. Also, my apartment is crooked and my baby cat's tail has a kink in it. I am like a hipster nursery rhyme.

The effects of these photos are kind of spooky. In some of the sitters the difference between their left and their right is jarring. For others, it's minimal. Still, even in the less dramatic cases the photos look like two different people. It's like, there is the relatively normal looking version of each person and then their vaguely evil twin. If I was gonna get all girl-power with it, I'd say that if anything this shoot disproves the notion that symmetry = beauty. Humanity = beauty. Symmetry = creepy evil twin versions of yourself, which, while cool, is not exactly sexy.

Images: Alex John Beck