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Lately, there is more and more talk about the changes we want in the face area.


Psychology Hour

Dr. Leli

Women in particular, but also men, resort to cosmetic interventions and once started, for example, in the case of botox injection; they continue them, because the “new” face is the one they like the most. Below are a few lines written by my good friend, Prof. Dr. Corina Chelaru, a perfect specialist in face reading techniques, Face Keys trainer and certified behavioral analyst-evaluator, about motivations, behaviors and consequences in facial interventions.           

Prof. Dr. Corina Chelaru

Analyst-Evaluator Behavior Certificate,

Specialist in Face Reading Techniques,

Trainer Face Keys

internal motivations and behavioral and psychological consequences of temporary or permanent changes in physiognomy

“From the moment the man saw his face in the water, he was lost.

The mirror, the TV, the internet, the selfies, they were all there. “

(Denis Langlois)

No matter how evolved the human species, our mechanisms of survival and primary relationships work according to the laws of the animal kingdom of which we are a part and according to the programs imprinted for tens of thousands of years in our DNA. As with any other species, it is vital for us to see the face of the individual who is approaching us or with whom we wish to interact. Only in this way can we read his intentions and his state of health. That is why the face is the most important part of the body, because depending on the combination and quality of its elements, the individual ensures his acceptance between peers faster or not, easier or not.

With the evolution of the species, the face became a symbol and was subjected to social models, currents and fashion. Each era came with an ideal of beauty and certain aesthetic canons, which testify to the mentalities and culture of that time. Art has recorded these canons through the works of painters, sculptors or writers and helps us to see which parts of the face were more important in certain periods. The advent of movies has also been a revolution in the promotion of certain models of facial beauty.

Facial features are partly inherited from our ancestors (such as broad cheekbones and skin-covered upper eyelids in the Asian race or nose with broad, fleshy nostrils in the African race), but they are also created through the life experiences we go through. These created traits define our way of reacting to certain environmental stimuli and are built under the prolonged influence of the living environment. That is why the study of facial features is an extraordinary tool of knowledge for any therapist, but also of self-knowledge for those who are willing to work consciously to observe their own facial features and especially to understand the origin of the need to change some of these features.

One of the easiest ways to adapt to beauty models is makeup. If initially he had a social role (distinguishing certain groups from others or signaling a certain social status – the makeup of warriors for example), over time he acquired an increasingly important aesthetic function, emphasizing certain parts of the face or correcting certain aspects. Makeup is the simplest form of facial intervention. It is temporary and versatile and can be changed or removed at any time. The make-up can visually change the shapes and volumes of the face so that they acquire a greater degree of symmetry and harmony, the brightness, size or thickness of some facial elements (nose, lips, eyebrows) and can mask certain skin colors, depigmentation or stains.

Although it may seem an exclusively female artifice, makeup has also been adopted by men since ancient times, but with a predominantly social function (eg pharaoh’s makeup or makeup as a sign of belonging to a certain caste or social blanket: warriors, priests, etc.). Its aesthetic function is not as new as we would think, as there is evidence that as early as the sixteenth century male makeup was practiced by nobles: “By makeup we mean everything that changes the appearance and aesthetics. Male makeup is, Contrary to many people’s beliefs, from the 16th century onwards, noble appearances by whitening the skin by applying cosmetics.” (Anne-Marie Granet-Abisset, Professor, University of Grenoble-Alpes, Cosmethics Project Coordinator1)

But what are the motivations behind the adoption of a certain type of makeup? We will refer to women’s makeup, because studies show that it is overwhelming in proportion and representative of the idea of femininity. There are mainly two reasons to adopt makeup2: camouflage defects due to low self-esteem anxiety and insecurity (for example, masking scars or significant skin imperfections) and seduction – women who want to look more attractive, sociable, confident and assertive use makeup to the fullest3. Both motives are backed by fears of gender and cultural pressure (for example, a woman needs to be nice and well-groomed in order to be socially and relational successful), but also by biological motivations. Two factors determine sexual attraction and how people treat a person: degree of facial symmetry and color contrast between the eyes, mouth and facial skin. Even if we do not consciously perceive these factors, they act subtly in our choices and in the degree of goodwill we show toward a person at first contact.

It is generally known that the degree of facial symmetry is as close as possible to the perfect symmetrical proportions, increases the attractiveness of a face and increases the desirability of the person in the social environment. However, our facial detection mechanisms prevent people from approaching perfectly symmetrical faces, because in reality they do not exist and the brain receives signals that such a figure is artificial or out of biological norms. The lower the facial asymmetry, the more balanced and constant the person is perceived to be, but it is not desirable that this asymmetry does not exist even at a low level!

Less well known is the fact that women naturally have darker pigmented coloration on the lips and skin around the eyes, which is perceived subconsciously in our brain as a sign of femininity. The more pronounced the contrast between the color of the skin of the face and the areas of the lips and eyes, the more feminine and attractive a woman is seen. That’s why the best-selling makeup cosmetics are lipsticks and eye makeup, because they improve the mentioned contrast and highlight exactly the facial elements considered the most feminine: mouth and eyes.

So what are the most important makeup products and operations that make your face look younger, healthier, and therefore more relatively desirable?

a) uniformity of skin tone – foundation and corrector are absolutely necessary as the basis of any makeup, because they homogenize the skin color, cover any traces of imperfections (scars, old signs of acne, bumps, blemishes). Dark circles, blemishes or discoloration suggest fatigue or illness. A uniform face color with increased brightness gives the impression of health and endurance and therefore increases the potential for a woman to earn better at work or to be selected by potential partners;

b) contouring to achieve symmetry and apply blush it creates a more youthful image and suggests to the brain the natural state of sexual availability (the coloration of the cheeks is natural in the state of arousal). Like it or not, we consider these facts sexist or not, our brains act on these settings, no matter how much we say we maintain conscious control and no matter how rationally we declare that these things are in the realm of “inequality.” After all, it is good to understand the mechanisms of regulation of facial perception in order to use them as efficiently as possible and because they work anyway!

c) mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow emphasizes the darker natural color around the eyes in women and optically enlarges the eye, which enhances the impression of youth. As we age, we become more aware of the amount and quality of visual information we absorb, and our level of caution and skepticism increases, reducing the openness of our eyes. That is why the optical magnification of the eye can “erase” a few years from our face and can give the impression of innocence and openness to the information received from the person with whom we communicate. This explains the frequency with which wide-open eyes appear in the image of “good” characters in cartoons, comics, or movies. The “manga” type drawings exaggerate this very feature and we all know those big, slightly wet and bright eyes of the fragile and reliable character;

d) lipstick it is also the makeup element that can enlarge the surface of the lips and that can intensify the color shades specific to the post-orgasmic state. Studies show that women who wear bright red lipsticks are perceived by men as more attractive than those who wear neutral shades or do not wear them at all.

But sometimes makeup does not fully satisfy us and its shortcomings are that it does not last permanently on the face and needs to be redone. In fact, the face needs rest periods, in which we should not use makeup so that the skin can breathe and assimilate the nutrients it needs to look healthy. Much greater and more important is the impact of FACIAL SURGERIES. The more they affect the muscular and skeletal structure of the face, the more important the consequences are at the level of one’s own perception and especially at the level of social life, which we cannot do without.

Naturally, there is a restraint in the face of any interventions that involve anesthesia, cuts or bleeding, etc. However, many people overcome their fear or doubt and decide to do these operations, knowing the possible risks, but also the fact that the changes are irreversible and that no one can fully guarantee how the body will react in the future.

The main reasons why people come for surgery are to improve their physical appearance – more precisely, the closest possible approach to an aesthetic ideal that the person has formed under the rule of fashion and social pressure or conditioned by the family, delaying aging and combating its effects (fear of the passage of time and difficulty accepting changes in one’s face)and correction of anatomical defects which prevents the person from leading a life considered normal by him (in the least cases).

 Each surgery is preceded by a discussion with the cosmetic surgeon, who makes a history, informs the patient about the procedures, the expected results depending on the constitution and the existing conditions and of course warns about any unpleasant reactions or risks. What is not part of the current procedures is the discussion with a psychologist, who will present to the patient the emotional implications of the intervention. And even if this were the case, it would be unlikely that patients would know the behavioral and energetic consequences of these changes by talking to a physiognomist with behavioral analysis-assessment skills. It may seem useless, but you will see that it is not at all, moreover, such discussions would help a lot in raising awareness and developing a post-operative adaptive strategy.

Each part of the face is closely related to various sectors of our lives and bears witness to the features of our personality, for what is the face other than the “mask” we present in our relationships with others. Facial interventions on certain areas also have effects on these areas of life. In addition, the whole face has nerve endings in connection with various organs and is crossed by energy meridians, as specified by traditional Chinese medicine.

According to statistics, the most common facial surgeries are blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty, rhytidectomy (facelift), frontal lift and interventions on the shape and orientation of the ears. All involve medical treatment accompanied by anesthesia and performed by a surgeon specializing in plastic and cosmetic surgery.

Of all the interventions mentioned, those that act on muscles and skin in order to fade wrinkles or to obtain a greater smoothness and tension of the facial skin have as main substrate the desire to erase the signs of the passage of time, as well as the signs of strong repetitive emotions, which creates deep wrinkles. For example, wrinkles between the eyebrows can be created both as an effect of maintaining attention to detail for a long time (if they are straight), but also as an effect of anger emotions (if they are curved, starting from under the inside of the eyebrow), disgust or sadness. Surgery may make them disappear or appear much less visible, but they are the expression of our feelings, and if they do not change, the wrinkles will reappear in a shorter or longer time, depending on how often they feel. Therefore, I believe that only the conversation with a physiognomist can make the person aware of the emotional patterns that are at the origin of our wrinkles, but also of the skin tone.

Wrinkles are a real help our body gives us to understand how we react and how our subconscious works. One of the best physiognomists, a specialist in Mian Xiang techniques, Patrician McCarthy relates in his book “The Face Reader” a relevant experience, which can make us understand the importance of the presence of wrinkles after certain ages. During a seminar, one of the students, a grandmother, a wife, a mother, who would have had every reason to be happy, confesses that – despite the fact that she has no wrinkles on her forehead that express sadness or anger, a forehead that she believes that he inherits it from his grandmother – he feels lost inside, lonely and sad. However, the discussion with the physiognomist shows that the woman had lost her mother as a teenager, and her grandmother, a survivor of the harsh Auschwitz regime, forced her to be “strong” and not show her suffering, just as she did not allowed to show his suffering caused by the losses and dramatic experiences lived in the camp. Grandma didn’t have frontal wrinkles at the age of 90 either. What passed from one generation to the next was not the physical genetic inheritance, but a behavioral pattern, which prevented the appearance of emotions and, therefore, the appearance of the corresponding wrinkles. The most difficult problem is that, when left unchecked, these strong emotions accumulate and become toxic, acting on our psyche over time and leading to sadness, depressive tendencies, and self-loathing. The lack of wrinkles, which many women would like, comes from not expressing emotions and brings with it problems. However, when they become annoying and the woman cannot accept her face with these wrinkles, resorting to surgery, she must first find out what these wrinkles express and, if she wants lasting results, follow a therapy that will help her. to change those emotional patterns that lead to their appearance, otherwise they will reappear even more strongly after a while, because the skin and muscles will be forced to find other trajectories of movement and expression and other wrinkled areas may appear, which did not exist before.

Another important issue arises in how others perceive the person after the intervention, for, according to the effect of Venus in psychology (named after Diego Velsquez’s famous painting “Venus in the Mirror”), our image in the mirror is very different from how others perceive us, but it is also different from what we think of ourselves because we tend to overestimate or underestimate what we see in the mirror. At the same time, the theory of the mirror, formulated by Jacques Lacan, it tells us that our identity is built on the sum of the images that those around us have about us. The others will adjust their behavioral response according to the micro-expressions on our face, and when they no longer express themselves in our natural, natural way, but find other ways of manifestation, the reaction of others may be different from what we expect. This can lead to misunderstandings, tensions, frustrations and can affect the person’s social life and relationships. That is why it is very important for the patient to understand these consequences and to give himself time to adapt to his new appearance and to give others time and understanding until they change their behavioral responses. Unfortunately, without the support of a psychologist and especially without the support of a physiognomist, these things are not even realized and create a vicious circle, in which the patient does not understand why, despite the fact that he got the face he wanted. Oh, things are not going in the expected direction and I am frustrated.

Of all the interventions, rhinoplasty acts complexly on the entire structure of the nose (which also has a bony part) and is performed under general anesthesia. Most patients want to reduce the size of the nose, correct the ridge of the nose, when it has an aquiline shape or when it has lateral swellings or raise the tip of the nose. The nose is the central element of the face and the most mobile part of it, despite appearances, being moved by several muscles (procerus, compressor / dilator of the nostrils, nasalis, uplifting and lowering of the upper lip). That is why it is the part that changes a lot during life, just under the action of these muscles. All newborns, regardless of race or culture, are born with the same type of nose, due to the lack of triangular cartilage that begins to form later under the influence of the movements of the muscles around the nose. For this reason, when we look at the ridge of the nose, we can see the present action of the muscles around the nose, and when we look at its base we can see the emotions that acted in the past. Each component of the nose is related to personality traits and abilities that we have, and the intervention on the structure of the nose has, in my opinion, the most important consequences.

Here are just some of the things we can learn from the physiognomic analysis of a person’s nose: the degree of aggression or violence that the person manifests, the attitude and approach to the challenges and goals set the level of curiosity, indiscretion or need for evidence. palpable, how the family environment in which the person grew up was perceived, if the person was violent, the artistic or technical inclinations of a person, the way of approaching life, the desire for knowledge, the ability to earn and manage resources, financial problems, the degree of generosity and exigency manifested, the level of imagination, arrogance, the degree of exaggeration of the truth or the degree of humility, the need for challenges or to behave warrior or rational) and from which it has manifested in the past (history of a person’s stress).

It is surprising how many sectors of our lives the nose is connected to, so I think the decision to change its shape is an important one and must be taken into account, because it is an intervention with definitive results. Not only the surgeon should have a say in the consultation, but also the psychologist and, especially, the advice of a physiotherapist with expertise in energy medicine would be desirable, to know what long-term impact this intervention can have.

An eloquent example I could give from the life of a lady who naturally had an aquiline nose, with a rather pronounced and thin mane and who wanted an intervention to correct the curvature of the mane of the nose, but also of the nostrils, which would be more visible by slightly raising the tip of the nose. Of course, those natural elements were directly related to her ability to learn and her desire for knowledge improves the life situations they go through, not easily accepting to let things get in the way. Having a successful business in the financial field, she was a very good specialist in her field, constantly taking all kinds of courses and specializations and she was very adept at streamlining all her life contexts.

Wishing for this important change, which consisted of reducing the curvature of the nose from convex to straight and raising the tip of the nose, which also led to a change in the position of the nostrils, which became more visible, the lady considered only the aesthetic part of the problem to align her appearance with an ideal image projected by her and being firmly convinced that these aspects would not affect her lifestyle and behavior. Moreover, she was convinced that it will improve in the sense that it will achieve even more important results at work and will succeed in concluding many more serious business partnerships.

The intervention was successful and the surgeon really did everything related to his specialty so that the result was as close as possible to what his client wanted and so that the invasive part could be compensated as well as possible postoperatively. But soon there were unexpected changes in the lady’s life, which were the result of the intervention on the shape and structure of her nose, but which she obviously could not explain and anticipate without prior information from a specialist.

First of all, spinal pain and mobility problems have arisen, because from the point of view of Chinese medicine, “The nasal bridge and the nasal ridge are considered a holographic representation of the spine. Any change in the structure of the nose indicates structural problems of the vertebrae what changes in the skin, such as tight skin or lines, may indicate muscle tension or weakness in that area of ​​the back. ” (Lilian Bridges)4 By “sculpting” the ridge of the nose and rearranging the surrounding muscles, the nervous and energetic centers that coordinate this area with the back were also intervened. Muscle aches and pains appeared, which led to pressure on the vertebrae and thus to the appearance of pain and reduced mobility. However, there are solutions by developing a program to adapt posture and muscle tone to new conditions, but without this information, the patient may waste a lot of time with expensive therapies and his quality of life may decrease.

Another change that took place over the course of a few months was a decrease in interest in knowledge, the lady no longer expressing a desire to specialize, to be up to date with the latest professional news, but starting to show much more interest in a much easier lifestyle. , showing more and more interest in the field of worldly life and to enjoy a different way of life, without trying to significantly improve its life contexts. The consequence in practical life was leaving the financial field and opening a business in the area of ​​accessories and styling, with an almost dramatic reorientation on the public he came in contact with. Due to the reorientation of the nostrils, there was a greater degree of generosity, but undirected, as before, which led to the situation of spending much more than before, although the gains were the same and the emergence of dissatisfaction with the perception of own financial statement. Over time, this led to the appearance of the groove separating the two nasal cartilages and its accentuation, which deeply displeased her, blaming the consequences of the surgery and not knowing in fact that these are the consequences of behavioral changes and lifestyle changes caused by changes in nasal structure.

Also, as a consequence of the change of image, the lady became much more willing to interact and more open to the area of social relationships. At first, however, the fact that she was used to being treated as an extremely serious and sober person with great professional authority and that she now received compliments and invitations to flirtation, made her uncomfortable, because from the point of view psychologically, she was not prepared for such reactions from those around her. She oscillated between indignation (she was used to not being “approached” from a certain point of view) and pleasure (she was perceived as more seductive), but she needed time to adjust her reactions to the changed feedback of those around.

Having a facial reading session, I came to the problem of the operation on the nose, because there were signs of changes made, because no matter how well a surgery is done, it changes muscle tone, the natural placement of the elements on the face and creates small signs over time indicates a change in the type of natural movement of the face. Then I opened the discussion about the lifestyle and behavior before the intervention, I asked for photos before the change and information about the changes in the person’s life. From the discussions we had, we came up with a comparative table of the signs observed before and after the intervention and we offered the lady the explanations for which these challenges arose, which helped her better understand the behavioral, relational and energetic consequences of the operation performed. My role was to explain to him that this change was the manifestation of personal desires, with a subconscious substratum, and that once these are done, solutions must be found to work with the mind and soul to consciously adapt to the new lifestyle imposed by new look. The physiognomist is there to find solutions, not to make the patient regret the intervention, but to help him evolve and integrate into another lifestyle, which he imposed through facial changes. The cooperation between the physiognomist and the psychologist is the ideal combination and this leads to a fairly quick solution to the problems by developing an individual therapy program. The biggest problem is that the vast majority of patients do not have this information before making the decision for such an intervention and do not even later find out that there are possibilities to harmonize with the new look and the new lifestyle.

The human face is the most complex tool of communication and at the same time the mirror of our health, our inner balance and the way we perceive life. The desire to change the shape or placement of an element on our face comes of course from an inner need for reformulation, from the perception of inconsistencies between our social “mask” and our psyche and therefore it is extremely important to understand and be aware of the source of this need , to analyze it with the help of a specialist and to make an informed decision. I believe that any modern cosmetic surgery and facial surgery office should include physiognomic counseling in its offer, not so much in terms of image problems that arise after the change, but especially in terms of awareness of the psychological mechanisms that trigger the need for change and the consequences at the level of social and family insertion after the intervention. Identifying the needs and motivations for facial change – especially for permanent and surgical changes – is in fact the key to future emotional and mental health, because without identifying these things, the patient will either continue on the line of surgical changes or regret the intervention. made and none of the cases is desirable.

Physiognomy is only one part of the broader field of behavioral analysis and evaluation, which involves connecting non-verbal elements, especially facial ones, with all the other components of an individual’s psychology and placing them in the context of his or her social life. . Perhaps the time has come for the fields of cosmetic and plastic surgery to accept the help of these sciences as well, because the ultimate goal is the long-term well-being of the patient. Physiognomy and morphophysiology courses can be very useful in training specialists who perform such interventions, so that they themselves can understand, help and guide clients as effectively as possible in choosing the most appropriate procedures and in the correct integration of their results in all life plans.



2 “Why women use makeup: implication of psychological traits in makeup functions” – autors: Rodolphe Korichi, Delphine Pelle-de-Queral, Germaine Gazano, Arnaud Aubert (LVMH Recherche, Parfums et Cosmétiques, France)


4 “The bridge of the nose is considered a holographic representation of the spinal column. Any changes in the structure of the nose is said to indicate problems with the vertebrae, whereas changes in the skin such a very tight skin or lines can indicate muscle pulls or muscle weakness in that area of the back.” (Lilian Bridges – “Face Reading in Chinese Medicine”, p. 286, 2012, Elsevier Ltd.)