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It's Not You, It's your Face

Posted May 29, 2008 4:18 PM by julie
Pathfinder Tags: facial expressions

If someone's ever told you you look tired, or sad or angry, but in reality you weren't any of those things, don't fret, it's probably not you, it's your face.

According to a study in the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery facial features like eyebrow shape, eyelids and wrinkles affect facial expressions, sometimes in unintended ways.

For the study researchers took a photograph and ditigally altered it in ways that mimic common plastic surgery procedures. Subjects were then asked to rate on a scale of 0 to 5 various emotions for each picture including, anger, tiredness, happiness, surprise, sadness, disgust and fear.

The pictures that mimicked eyelid surgery or brow lifts generated the worst scores, with study participants rating those faces as looking angry or tired.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 241,000 eyelid surgeries, 43,000 forehead lifts and 118,400 face-lifts were performed in 2007. But the study shows that people contemplating eye surgery should talk to their doctor about how a procedure might affect their facial expressions. And some people might want to think twice about eliminating some sets of wrinkles. One digitally-altered picture added crows' feet — tiny wrinkles around the eyes — and received high ratings for "happiness.''

"The eyes and their related structures nonverbally communicate a wide range of expressions that are universal to all people," Dr. Persing said. "Therefore facial expression should be a factor in how patients and their plastic surgeons select various rejuvenation procedures. As our findings show, even the slightest modification can elicit profound changes in how others perceive us."

To see the photos used in the study, click here.

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#1

Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/29/2008 10:06 PM

So I guess you can go from just plain ugly to downright menacing.

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#2

Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 4:25 AM

"It it ain't broken, don't fix it."

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#3

Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 4:25 AM

I'm not very good with faces so I can't actually see the differences in the features, but, I can see that they changed the brightness of the image between the first two pictures.

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#4

Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 8:40 AM

It's more about relative change than absolutes...
It's easy to jump to the wrong conclusion when you first meet some one, because you don't have the 'base level' of how they normally look.

A woman I work with has rather down turned corners to her mouth which can look a bit miserable, but she is very cheerful and when she gets animated... her face lights up. Iv'e been doing an (abstracty) painting showing both sides of her... literally. (not quite finished in this shot...)

Del

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#11
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 4:15 PM

nice work,.........who's she giving the finger to.

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#12
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 4:32 PM

Probably the supervisor . I've re-painted that hand since...

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#13
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 4:38 PM

thats repressing the freedom of expression, I think it should stay..........what kind of artist are you.

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#14
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 5:07 PM

The gesture remains the same...the painting of it is better
I'd tried to over abstract it in this version... It's a battle...

The original version looked like an illustration in a 'Ladybird book'..
so I re-did it more abstract which was always the intention...but overshot a bit on the hand.

But which do you prefer...?
Hey did you know painting was such an angst ridden process .

Del

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#15
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 5:16 PM

Very nice Del. Is it really abstract or is it impressionist? I think it's the latter because I'm impressed by your creativity.

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#16
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 5:51 PM

Ha, Im not really sure of the correct terms..I tend to use 'em willy nilly...
It's from the 'Cattly school of expressionism' with a little cubism crumbled in?

This is a composite of two deliberately low res photos which it is derived from.
(I hope I'm not boring everyone too much with this...)

I asked her permission before I started as I didn't want her to think I was stalking her .
She's seen it and is warming to it...her opinion is moving from 'quite good ok' to 'It's nice, I like it' I've said she can have it if she wants it, but it's hanging at work at the moment...
She's taken a pic of it on her mobile to show her husband, and is going to take it home to show him...

We are quite friendly with them, been on holiday together, so I didn't feel too weird doing it as I know her taste as she's seen my other pics.

Del

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#17
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 8:18 PM

she's seen my other pics.

I hope that's not the polaroids from last year in Faleraki. I swore I'd never show anyone my Ibiza '73 collection.

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#18
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/31/2008 7:43 AM

Mmmmmmmmmm is it me or has her 'bust' grown since the first version.??..

Hey.... wanna see some pictures... nice girls....

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#22
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

06/02/2008 9:02 PM

Very good Del,

Sounds like you just develop a new painting technique, called willy nilly-ism. "a hybrid".

hats off to you.

phoenix911

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#23
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

06/03/2008 3:02 AM

Nice, however...
I believe Loretta Bobbit has already used the style 'Willy Nihilsm'

Del (bit of a smiley fest )

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#24
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

06/03/2008 3:22 PM

I'm having toad-in-the-hole for supper tonight. I went right off ther idea of salami.

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#5

Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 10:07 AM

Now here is an interesting optical illusion which relies on your eyesight to interpret the person's mood...

close up the two people side by side (assuming this picture comes out okay) one is happy and smiling the other looks very aggresive...

If you then move further back the moods swap over - don't ask me why its just something that the brain picks up on I guess...

Use the browser to make the image smaller or larger by using the Ctl- (for smaller) or Ctl+ (for larger)

As you make the image smaller there comes a point about 50% where both faces have the same expression, making the image smaller makes the right hand one seem more aggressive - the images mood seems to swap over....

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#6
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 10:09 AM

spooky...(glad I don't work with that bean mitch)

Del

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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 10:12 AM

Blimey it must be our tea break again!!!

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#9
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 12:28 PM

What do you mean ? It's Elvis !

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#8

Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 10:21 AM

hello julie,

may i have your o.k. to pass this info along to a class of people who really are affected by the items the report does no mention.

as the owner of multiple acquired brain injuries it took MANY years for me to understand that the facial expressions i would often react to in a very negative and often SOCIALLY UNACCEPTABLE ways were not wilfull acts. having my idea sypported by any "expert medical evidence" was often ridiculed as the ramblings of a guy who is half nuts, and treated with as much respect. consideration that what i have maintained for many years as my personal observation was derided just as often.

i would like to present this to the peer support groups that i still have some contact with, asking them to have their care givers ( more often they assume a right to position themselves as handlers of a.b.i. owners) start to realize that what they are getting as reactions to face expressions which when combined with voice tone qualities are mainly fear flight reactions. the best example i can give is the corinth texas cop who TASERED a epileptic teen 15 times in six minutes to subdue him because the teen slapped a paramedic during a seizure.

thanks this made my year.

'da ber

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

05/30/2008 3:50 PM

Sure! I'm glad you found this useful. When I posted this originally I was trying to point out that altering your face through plastic surgery might have unintended effects in how that person was perceived. But the wider issue of facial expressions and how we are perceived is also important.

Best,
Julie

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#19

Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

06/02/2008 10:36 AM

Getting out in the sun several times a day to soak up some "D". Will help too.

EPA report show vitamin D is SUCKED OUT THRU YOUR EYES when you spend too much time under FLUORESCENT lighting.

It can take 10 mins to 1 hour to replace all that after 1 days inside work.

By the way when did selling plastic surgery become an engineering subject????????

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#20
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

06/02/2008 10:46 AM

"vitamin D is SUCKED OUT THRU YOUR EYES when you spend too much time under FLUORESCENT lighting"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whaaa?

I would love to see a reference on that!

Bill Morrow

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#21
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

06/02/2008 3:34 PM

Unbelievable!!!

So that's why the government wants us all to install CFL's, to give us all a brain washing and to believe the nonsense they spout??

John

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#25
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Re: It's Not You, It's your Face

07/10/2008 8:30 PM

I spend time at the beach, schools out now you know. Get to call the effect "Ocular therapy". Works wonders for me, and has for the past 30 years.

Still do not need glasses for any thing. Knock on wood and such:

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