Does symmetrical equal beautiful? Or are we beautiful because of — rather than in spite of — our imperfections?
That’s what photographer Alex John Beck wanted to find out. By creating perfectly symmetrical composite images of peoples’ faces, he made some pretty interesting observations.
The subjects don't look like real people.
Each portrait in the series that resulted, Both Sides Of, features two faces: one is the left half of a person’s face mirrored, and the other is the right side.
The effect, Beck said, is to reveal the different characters hidden in our face.
The two images do look like they have the same subject, but they look dramatically different. One side can look friendlier or wiser or angrier than the other.
“I would love it if it led [people] to their appreciation of character as the truest indicator of attractiveness, rather than absolute measures like symmetrical features,” Beck told mindbodygreen.
And this project helps us, at least for a moment, do that. While we don’t know what the subjects actually look like, we can assume they look a lot better with both sides of their character — scars, freckles, and all — united.
Here are some more photos from the series: