Facial symmetry & why some clowns scare us.

  Stephen King's It— a 1000 page epic of a shape-shifting evil from beyond time— features a clown named Pennywise. The clown doesn't This dancing clown grins through all the horror and gore in It and exudes malevolent wit. While King’s villains are often frightening, Pennywise's wit approaches camp without really being funny.Zach Handlen describes It as "set largely in a single small town in Maine. [W] hile it spans decades, the main action takes place in two distinct time periods.—1958, which … [Read more...]

Facial symmetry is sexy, but why?

Facial symmetry has been felt to be attractive, even sexy, because our DNA correlates symmetry with good health. But Stephanie Pappas reports on a recent study that calls all this into question:Despite the widespread assumption that symmetry might be a sign of good health, studies have turned up little evidence of a link between the two. A few small studies have linked facial asymmetry with some short-term health woes, like scratchy throats, but many others have found no links at all.However, … [Read more...]

Measuring facial symmetry in cleft lip kids and everyday people.

How the heck did Dr. Coe manage to visualize the tangle of my oral tissue and muscle when he sewed me—Humpty Dumpty— back together?  As I wrote in my memoir, Cleft Heart: chasing normal,            "With final form and functionality in mind, Dr. Coe set about joining the two sides of my face. The union had to be exactly right so that when the scars contracted, they would   not notch the red vermillion of my lip or distort the area between my lip and nose. ...All this had to be figured out fast, … [Read more...]

“Lookism” and dishonesty about ugliness.

In my last blog, I wrote about the kids edition of "Ugly." Today, I'm writing about the adult version that brings up a complicated lookism issue: can we be butt-ugly honest about the role of looks in society?Ugly & Lookism.First, let's hear from the "subject" of this inquiry, Robert Hoge.To hear Hoge tell it, he was born with a giant tumor on his forehead, severely distorted facial features, and legs that were twisted and almost useless. His mother refused to look at him when he was born, … [Read more...]

Is it lookism to ask Santa for 2 front teeth?

A popular song, dating back to the '40s, starts with, "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth." Most of us finally got our two front (permanent) teeth as second or third graders  (age 7-8 y.o.).  Some new research suggests that missing or bad teeth can age a person in many ways. But, don't worry, there's hope, as the article below states. If you feel good about your teeth, you smile more. And that makes you more youthful appearing according to some studies. All this suggests that teeth … [Read more...]

Angelina Jolie and most of us have this facial symmetry defect.

New York University plastic surgery prof Sherrell Aston says  Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Lucy Liu—and even  Barack Obama—have something in common, besides being famous and in the news regularly. They have “slightly asymmetrical chins,” he says, a trait they they share with almost every other person in the world. The finding holds regardless of age, sex,  ethnicity or race. You and Angelina Jolie Probably Have This in Common. Dr. Aston has conducted thousands of pre-op facial exams in his … [Read more...]

A kid without facial symmetry——II

  The amazing young boy in Palacio's 2012 youth novel, Wonder, is named Auggie, and he's a hit across America in schools where books about tolerance and the impact of bullying are assigned and discussed. Recognizing this, the author and Random House just released a novella, but 88 pages, entitled The Julian Chapter: a Wonder Story. It rectifies a concern many readers had that Wonder didn't have a chapter from the main antagonist's point of view. They also released a companion volume to Wonder … [Read more...]