Juno: “Your little girlfriend gave me the stinkeye in art class yesterday.” Paulie Bleeker: “Katrina’s not my girlfriend alright? And I doubt she gave you the stinkeye that’s just how her face looks, you know? That’s just her face.”
Symmetry is both a conceptual and a perceptual image associated with beauty-related judgments. Symmetry and asymmetry serve as highly aesthetic sources of beauty and are a fundamental aspect of Dr. Shah’s technique.
Facial symmetry refers to bilateral symmetry of the face, in which, according to Merriam-Webster, features are arranged on opposite sides in such a way that, if divided, each side would be an identical half. Imagine a dotted line down the center of a face: the more symmetrical a face, the more like mirror images the right and left sides of the face will be.
However, the absence of symmetry does not necessarily mean absence of beauty, and this is true in natural scenery, in art, or in human faces. That breath-taking sunset you watched the other night most likely wasn’t symmetrical, but it was still aesthetically pleasing right?
Numerous studies with human faces have been conducted showing the link between facial symmetry and attractiveness. In our daily life we habitually process visual views of faces, whether walking down an aisle in your grocery store, looking at people in a crowded restaurant, or checking out that cute guy in class. So what is it that makes our brains decide whether a face is attractive or ugly? I’ll explain…
Technology allows researchers and doctors to study perfectly symmetrical faces on the computer. Research has suggested that we are drawn to and consider symmetrical faces more attractive. I personally just don’t think we always prefer them. Instead, we tend to be sexually drawn to faces that are slightly less symmetrical. Here’s why-
Our brains like symmetry; we find it soothing and comforting. Interestingly, while we may judge symmetrical faces as more attractive, those aren’t always the ones we are most drawn to sexually or romantically. How many times have you felt mesmerized by someone’s looks, and you can’t quite explain why? We tend to go for the people with more interesting or exotic features, slightly asymmetrical- still beautiful, but not too perfect.
If something is too perfect, it just isn’t as interesting. Perfect symmetry is boring, from your brain’s standpoint. Calming, yes. Pretty, yes. Exciting? Not so much–
So while we may sit people down for a psychological study, show them photos, and ask them which people are more attractive, that does not necessarily mean those are the people they’d rather date or have a relationship with.