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Surgeon explains scientific reasons for why we wear makeup

Which is the man, and which is the woman? See below for answer. Courtesy of Richard Russell, PHD

Which is the man, and which is the woman? See below for answer. 

Take a look at the two photos above. Which one is the man and which is the woman?

Did you say that the woman was on the right and the man was on the left?

If so, these were the findings of most of the people who took this test.

What was it about the two images that made you feel one photo was of a man and the other a woman?

The truth is that this is a photo of the same person with different color contrasts in the eye and mouth areas in the two photos.

Let’s dig deeper into this topic.

We are all very social beings and we yearn to connect with one another. When we communicate with one another, the non-verbal messages our faces send dominate.

It’s been estimated that when we communicate with one another what is received by the other person’s brain is 7% of the words we say; 38% is our verbal tone and 55% is our Non-verbal communication.

When we see one another, our subconscious brain evaluates the other person for these non-verbal cues. Our subconscious brain then influences our conscious brain on how we felt about what we saw in those areas.

This subconscious influence affects the way we treat and relate to others in our world.

These previous photos were from a scientific study by Richard Russell, a Harvard psychologist. Dr. Russell studies the sex differences in men and women.

In these photos, he lightened the eye and mouth region in the left photo and darkened the eye and mouth region in the right photo. This was done to give evidence to the fact that the degree of contrasts in a face contribute to the relative masculinity or femininty of a person’s face.

One way the difference is expressed between human males and females is the contrast in our faces. Men have less contrast.

Women, though, have great differences in contrast and color in the different parts of their faces. This is especially true in the eye and mouth regions. Women have more natural color in their eyes and lips as compared to men.

Comparison of a woman without and with makeup.

Comparison of a woman without and with makeup.

Women know this intrinscially and they understand that the mouth and eye region are the two most powerful parts of the face for communication.

This is why women innately seek to highlight their eyelids by wearing mascara and eye shadow, and their lip region by wearing lipstick and lip liner.

The additional of color to these importance facial areas increased the non-verbal femininity cues preceived by others.

Take a look at the other two photos, above, of a woman with and without makeup. Notice how the increased contrast of the eye and mouth region increased the femininity of her face.

The increased color of the lips and eyes cause our subconscious brain to assess beauty and increased feminine attractiveness in the right photo as compared to the left.

This provides more evidence to the fact that our subconscious brain is hard-wired to find certain specific facial features and ratios attractive and beautiful.

Women can take advantage of this fact by wearing makeup that increases the constrast between their lips and eye region and the surrounding skin. This will then make a woman’s face appear more feminine to others.

Wearing attractive glasses can also create contrast in the eye region, which is very important in our non-verbal communication with others.

Our subconscious brains are constantly influencing our opinions of things we see in the world.

Adam J. Scheiner, M.D., is a world renowned laser cosmetic surgeon featured on “The Dr. Oz Show,” “The Doctors,” “The Howard Stern Show” and the Boston Herald. He enjoys helping his patients restore, reveal and reclaim their natural beauty through a range of non-surgical and surgical treatments.

[References: Russell, Richard, 2009; “ A sex difference in facial contrast and its exaggeration by cosmetics” Perception. Volume 38, pages 1211 – 1219]

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