Beauty is something that everybody feels they have a grasp of… That is, most people have an idea of what beauty “looks like.” The ancient Greeks spoke of the aesthetics of beauty including symmetry within one’s facial features, showing that anyone who had bodily unsymmetrical features would lose aesthetic appeal. In other words, the less symmetrical that you were, the uglier you were. As you might have guessed, this isn’t an exact science.
In Both Sides Of, photographer Alex John Beck has deconstructed this pseudoscience by using Photoshop to show how eery our faces would look if they were perfectly symmetrical. He took side-by-side photos and used the mirror images to completely alter the faces of the actual subjects.
One can look at the photos and cringe with the creepiness of the way the photoshopped images change the subject, in a way that is unflattering. This is, of course, not a way to make the subject more ugly, but a way to highlight the importance of our imperfections. Every crack and crevice, sloping hill, jilted part, provides the makings of an unsymmetrical person who is infinitely more beautiful than the person who has symmetry. Maybe we were never meant to be perfectly symmetrical, for fracturing is highlighted in the photograph as part of the human being. It is the narrative that showcases the beauty.
For more, make sure to check out Alex John Beck: