Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Facial History

Contrary to conventional wisdom the human face by many self-evident accounts appears to be the real window to a person’s history and identity and thus defines his significance. A symbol of his inner person that no other part of him can equal. It is the fine recording slate that tallies his failures and successes, the accompanying pains or joys; that bring either frowns or smiles that over time delicate facial muscles learn not only to remember reflexively but to leave more than superficial traces.

Its lines, grooves, ridges, and furrows are the tell-tale signs translated from the panoply of emotions unconsciously exhibited to etch and engrave remains of the life-bearing challenges that man is heir to.

While not many faces may launch a thousand ships as did Helen of Troy, our countless celluloid celebrities swear and live by them. For many they are their sure-fire capital to fame and glory. We remember many of them for their faces, their extraordinarily chiseled features that separate them from the rest of the cookie-cutter world.

But for most of us, our precious irreplaceable countenance reveals the hallowed pages we write on as we age. The concomitant pains and sorrows translated into lines, grooves and ridges – that we now picturesquely describe as crow's feet, age wrinkles, etc.

Here’s a little project for our vainglorious world. Building our own facial history to measure, compare, or simply to view with nonchalance the effects of our lives on our faces as we age. Of course, apart from the inevitable onslaught of aging on flesh and bones. And attitudes.

For one thing, close and long-time friends and relatives ought to be tickled pink vividly recalling the happy times and treasured camaraderie of earlier years associated with the metamorphosing face of the subject. It cannot help but bring floods of smiling memories.

This lazy and petty experiment aims to plot out some kind of pictorial “annual rings” layout, marking down the memorable events of periods as reflected in one’s countenance – say, like the years when we were lean and mean or having too much hair growth was the problem.

Since one’s face typically mirrors the prevailing emotions of the times, do we see a portrait or a series of them as portraying appearance of subdued sadness, or repressed apprehension, or inner peace and happiness? Or have we been more enigmatic in exhibiting our emotions? Why?

With the digital age, this project has become an easy treat, using only, say the MS proprietary app, Paint, which one can find in any Windows version, to collate the pictures arranged chronologically.

I offer mine as a clinical sample. I enjoin my few but loyal readers to try to create their own.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:39 PM

    Hi Tatoy,
    As usual, I am always impressed with what you do and how you descriptively put the right words. I am interested to do what you did but have no clue where to begin. Obviously, one needs all the pictures from younger years to present. Yes, I agree with your comments that each furrow, line or wrinkle in our face sets a demarkation mark that is indicative of a story somehow beautiful, tragic or memorable.
    Thanks for sharing such perspective!


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