Align Your Outer Appearance With Your Inner Identity

Health & FitnessBeauty

  • Author Cynthia Elliott, Md
  • Published February 15, 2024
  • Word count 532

Do you feel your outward appearance matches the way you see yourself on the inside? Do you think that when other people see you for the first time that they perceive you as being (fill in your desired trait here, i.e., smart, attractive, friendly, etc.)? Important decisions in both the workplace and social world are made purely on first impressions that are literally and superficially skin-deep. Multiple studies have shown that we infer personality traits from certain facial features which of course isn’t fair or even accurate but it’s a fact.

People with strong jawlines, square chins, and low brows are assumed to be dominant and strong leaders. Those with high inner brows, round or tapered chins and prominent cheekbones are believed to be trustworthy and submissive. Other facial traits that are associated with assumed personality traits are skin texture and the presence of skin blemishes. A study that compared subjects’ reactions to photos of people with smooth skin or blemishes found that the photos of people with blemishes were rated lower on the inferred qualities of trustworthiness, competence, maturity, attractiveness, and health. Not surprising but sad nonetheless, photos of people with skin blemishes were also perceived as less attractive.

Another interesting finding is that people make personality trait assumptions about anatomical details that seem to imply expression, like deep frown lines or a downturned mouth, even when the face is relaxed. This is termed “emotion overgeneralization”. People who look like they have a slight smile when their face is neutral are perceived as friendly and trustworthy. Those who look irritated even when their face is relaxed are read as being intense or angry. When we think we see emotion in someone’s face, we also tend to overgeneralize our assumptions about the person’s overall personality so if we think we detect a smile, we assume the person is happy, sociable, and nice all the time.

Until recent years, we didn’t have the ability to change our external appearance without surgery, but now with modern treatment options, we can tweak our looks to appear more attractive, feminine, dominant, etc., while still looking like ourselves. Improvement can often be seen with treatments that take less than an hour.

Examples:

For those who want their appearance to imply leadership qualities, we use injectable skin fillers to build up jawlines, chins and to reduce under-eye dark circles, and Botox-like treatments to lower high brows.

For those who want to appear more feminine, we give them higher cheekbones and brows, fuller lips and a tapered chin.

For a generally more attractive face, we can remove spots, clear up breakouts, improve scars and uneven pigment, remove unwanted hair and veins, make an irregular nose look straight, and enhance desired features.

Injections of muscle relaxants like Botox® can make an angry expression look more approachable and the smoothing of the skin it results in can make the face look younger. It can lift or lower brows and even make pores look smaller.

We may not be able to make you a strong leader, a nicer person or a trustworthy politician but at least we can help you portray those qualities if you choose.

Cynthia Elliott, M.D., is the owner of Skinspirations, a cosmetic and regenerative medical practice in Clearwater, Florida. Having performed over 87,000 cosmetic medical treatments and training hundreds of esthetic physicians, the clinicians at Skinspirations are known for providing the quality of results that most esthetic clinicians are still trying to learn. Learn more at https://www.skinspirations.com.

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