Perception of Beauty in Deformity

Over the years, I have been hooked to You Tube videos of making makeup artists showcasing their skills of contouring facial and body features to make them look defined & leaner. They also highlight the phenomenal bone structure (such as cheek bones, brow bone, bridge of nose, lips cupid etc). Some artists have also displayed how one can achieve perfect symmetry with adjusting makeup techniques. Yes its known fact that its rarity to find perfectly symmetrical face (without any ‘help’). However skillfully applied makeup can help you achieve a much desired symmetry.

In some cultures certain facial features such dimples in cheeks, moles/beauty marks, two toned eyes etc have been perceived as attractive facial features. But I have yet to see a makeup video that demonstrates how to highlight and enhance these features if they are beauty features. Scientifically and medically speaking these are a result of malformations or deformities. As alarming as these words sound, when we speak of deformity, by default we think of some serious condition such as malformed body part which may not be visually pleasing or limits the ability to undertake some actions. Below I have ventured into 3 basic deformities that are perceived as attractive features.

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The shortened facial muscle results in pulling on the skin, which displays good ol’ dimple in cheek (I’m talking only about facial dimples, lets not get in other areas of body). Generally its genetic muscle deformity, and only one of our parents need to have a dimple for us to inherit it. For example, I inherited ‘holes in my cheek’ from my mum, my mum inherited from her father (I’m not familiar with my lineage to know where my grandfather inherited his dimples from!)

In many cultures, a hole in cheek is considered as a feature of beauty and many people think its cute! Some cultures also have superstitions associated with it saying the person is “lucky”. Ermmmm lucky to have a malformed muscle in your face? I wonder, how is it considered beautiful when you have a hole in your cheek resulting from muscle deformity? Makeup artists highlight amazing bone structure to enhance beauty, so why don’t they highlight dimples if they are considered a beauty feature?


Moles occur when cells in the skin grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin. These cells are called melanocytes, and they make the pigment that gives skin its natural color (Source: Web MD).

Over the years, moles have been perceived as ‘Beauty Marks/Spots’. The malformation of skin cells is called Beauty Mark. For decades masses have been gaga over Marilyn Monroe and Cindy Crawford’s infamous ‘beauty mark’. What did they do to highlight their beauty mark, any special makeup perhaps? Yes it may be argued some people doodled a black spot on their faces with black liner. But did they consider applying any more makeup to draw more attention to their coveted beauty mark?

82nd Annual Academy Awards, Vanity Fair Party, Los Angeles, America - 07 Mar 2010

Complete heterochromia is where one iris is a different color from the other. Whereas in partial heterochromia or sectoral heterochromia, part of an iris is a different color from its remainder. There are many celebrities who have this eye condition; one of them is Kate Bosworth.

Now we all know certain eye makeup colors suit some eye colors better, such as for brown eyes purple eye makeup, for green eyes brown eye makeup etc. Does that mean one should adjust the colors of makeup as per your eye color to achieve that much desired symmetry?

So the world has defined beauty in all these deformities (medically speaking) but perhaps our makeup skills haven’t evolved to the degree where we define and emphasize these features. Or is it as simple as beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. It has nothing to do with makeup, contouring, highlighting blah blah blah. It’s simply about what your mind is naturally attracted to. But then why do we make an effort to highlight and contour other normal facial features but pardon these deformities from enhancing makeup? There could be no right or wrong, its purely subjective and at the end of the day it’s what makes you happy…right?

Thanks for taking the time to read and hoping its got you thinking too.



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