A site dedicated to Faces, Facial Differences, and Heroes, Villians and Fools

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You’ve come to the right place to learn about faces, especially ones that stand out in a crowd—the good, the bad, and the “ugly.” Together we’ll learn and share insights—via blogs, guest blogs, comments, and even painted portraits—about the social and psychological aspects of living with “facial differences” in a world that emphasizes looks.

What you bring to the discussion:

  • a lifetime of experience looking at and reacting to faces
  • a willingness to be open-minded and to engage and comment when so moved.

What I bring:

  • I’ve produced TV documentaries on the stigmatizing effects of oral-facial disorders and the psychological issues around reconstructive surgery.
  • Because I grew up with a cleft lip and palate, I’ve studied the social-psychological aspects of facial differences and painted many portraits celebrating faces.
  • I’ve written a memoir, Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal, which conveys my experiences as a cleft kid. It is the first published memoir by a cleft about the cleft experience.
    When Wayman Publishing released the book, rave reviews poured in. Cleft Heart shows bullied clefts and others that they can survive and thrive, giving them and their loved ones hope that they can live normal lives. [Continue reading]

Beauty varies by country/sex, but lookism still fuels surgeries.

Half-Japanese beauty chosen to represent Japan at Miss Universe 2015

As we try to fight lookism, we see one obvious factor supporting our cause. It is the fact that beauty and attractiveness vary by sex and by country. That is, men and women have different ideals regarding attractiveness as do people from different … [Continue reading]

Cambodia’s rate of untreated cleft lip and palate: world’s worst.

Cleft lip affected author and wife at Cambodian king's palace.

Cambodia's beauty hides some ugly truths.Cambodia is a beautiful country which allows some of its not-so-beautiful cleft lip and palate babies to go untreated. I traveled there less than a year ago to pay homage to the country's beauty and … [Continue reading]

Jesus with a cleft lip in Mary-Magdalene biopic?

Head shot of Joaquin Phoenix + cleft lip closeup.

Joaquin Phoenix Will Likely Play Jesus with a cleft lip.Hollywood is abuzz with the news that Joaquin Phoenix will likely play Jesus, with a cleft lip,  in a new movie about Mary Magdalene—an important woman in Jesus' life. It will reportedly be "an … [Continue reading]

Cleft lip daughter and Black daughter-in-law: McCain’s OK.

6 people in Sen John McCain's family

I've had a love-hate relationship with Senator John McCain over the years—not unlike the relationship Trump has had with the senator. We've both disagreed with some of McCain's conservative politics, but for vastly different reasons. Interestingly … [Continue reading]

Lookism equal time: what makes a woman attractive?

Nice figured, smiling, healthy haired woman wearing red. holding umbrella.

In last week's lookism blog post, I passed on  six scientifically proven tips on how men can be more physically attractive to women. In the interest of fair play, now we have six for women – all based on scientific studies presented by a respected … [Continue reading]

Lookism: what do women like in men?

Bust shot of well-muscled actor Hugh Jackman

The languid days of summer are upon us in America. That means there's more chance that we men will be socializing with women. Heck, some of us will even be stripping down to bathing suits on beaches.Lookism seems a natural tendency in males.Many … [Continue reading]

Cyberbullying: a level playing field for the disabled.

Closeup photo of wheelchair with red frame and black hand on large wheel.

This transcript of an Academic Minute* (way shorter than a TED Talk) describes a power shift in the dynamic involving children with disabilities. Traditionally, kids with physical—and not so obvious intellectual or emotional—disabilities were … [Continue reading]