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.

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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.

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