Want A Better Selfie?

How many postures have you tried just to make yourself look more attractive on a selfie? Are they getting stale and you have no fresh ideas?

Or do you go straight frozen in front of a camera? Then do you fancy surprising your friends with an absolutely hot picture of you?

If your answer is yes to any of the above questions, let me proudly present you with a new trick – Left Cheek Rule. It goes as its name: expose your left cheek to the camera as much as possible (don’t go too far though, you don’t want to look fat).

Mona Lisa: Not her smile, it's her sticking in front left cheek that captured your eyes.

Mona Lisa: Not her smile, it’s her sticking in front left cheek that captured your eyes.

Mona Lisa gave us an good example.

And she is not the only one. According to a research conducted by I. C. McManus and N. K. Humphrey, two psychologists of The University of Cambridge, among 1474 single portraits of 1320s  sixty per cent (that is 891 pieces) are showing left cheek. Interestingly, of these sixty per cent, sixty-eight are women.

So artists prefer left cheek. Why? There are three hypotheses.

The first one suggests the reason is that most artists are right-handed, which makes the sketch of left cheek easier. But psychologist Nicholls M. E. R. and his colleague at The University of Melbourne pointed out that left-handed artist like Raphael were in favour of left cheek as well. Plus there are no more lefty women than lefty men while women dominate men over showing left cheek in photos.

The second theory lies in audience. Artists present left cheek because people like their left visual field better, which is a result of human’s lateralisation of brain function – right hemisphere, which determines the left part of human body, is in charge of emotion and expression, therefore, people tend to receive more emotional information of left cheek. However, it doesn’t explain the gender difference.

The last explanation points at sitters. As it’s said above, left cheek contains more emotions, sitters, assuming they were aware of this consciously or subconsciously, prefer to show their left cheeks more, so as to express themselves better. It solved the gender distinction as, in theory, men, under certain rule in society, are supposed to be more rational and reluctant to show their emotions whilst women, generally, are more emotional and more likely to show their sentiments.

But those paintings are centuries ago. Does left cheek still work now?

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

Let’s look at several charming creatures first.

Sure they have pictures of right-cheek-prior, but feel free to compare which ones are more captivating.

If you ever keep record of fashion magazines, most of their cover persons are/were showing their left cheeks.

Megan Fox

Megan Fox

Sophie Marceau

In an experiment by K. Blackburn and J. Schirillo of Wake Forest University 37 college students were asked to rank the aesthetic level of images of 10 men and 10 women that taken from the left and right sides of the face. The study paired conscious aesthetic ratings of pleasantness with measurements of pupil size. To find out whether was the angle or the appearance that matters, they also mirror-reversed the images. And the result demonstrated a strong preference for left-sided portraits regardless of original or mirror-reversed orientation.


Experimental Images

Experimental Images

So it still works.

As for why people prefer left-sided pictures, the most possible reason is lateralisation of brain function.

Well, who knows.

Just remember left cheek rules, and a smiley face, showing either cheek, will beats everything.

Now, pull up your perfect smile, go and let your left cheek blow their minds.


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