I still remember how, when I was a small boy, my father once told me that one could usually tell by simply looking at a person’s face if that person was intelligent or not. I hated that idea! It just seemed so horrible, so wrong that there might be a way of classifying people in an instance. Especially if the classification is according to a feature that the person is in no way responsible for.

As I grew up, I caught myself more and more frequently stereotyping people by superficial features. Maybe their cloths, maybe their hairstyle, maybe their car, maybe their funny dialect. I try to avoid it but I still do it. It seems to be an awful human trait, which helps to find more structure in life (or, let’s face it, rather impose such a structure) and to simplify things by avoiding the full complexity involved.

Today I went to an exhibition in Neunkirchen about contemporary portrait photography. I deliberately tried to classify the depicted people, to put them in predefined drawers – but I couldn’t. If you’re only given a still picture of a face with a neutral expression and a neutral background it still seems ridiculous, at least to me, to dare to draw conclusions about that person’s personality.


In English there are some great expressions involving the word “face”. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/face)

“Excuse me while I go to the powder room to put on my face.” – Can someone tell me, if this is archaic? It just seems sooo funny to me  😉

“He’s squandered his money and now he’s got to face the music.” – Cool. Wasn’t aware of this expression. Guesses about its etymology anyone?

“These recommendations fly in the face of previous advice on safe limits for alcohol consumption.” – Fly in the face of sth.? The origin of this doesn’t really make sense to me.