Which side of your face looks better?

August 4, 2014

face right side left sideWhen someone takes out a camera and you slant your face to one side before saying “Cheese,” which side do you turn to?

The left or the right?


In a recent study viewers were more likely to rate left-cheeked photos more appealing than right-cheeked photos. This was the case even when the images were digitally reversed. In other words, left-cheeked photos (even when they appeared to be right-cheeked photos) were still rated more pleasing than right-cheeked photos (even when they appeared to be left-cheeked photos).


There is a physiological reason behind all of this. The left side of your face is governed by the right hemisphere of your brain, which is the side that is mainly responsible for the expression of emotions.  So when someone is smiling and happy, it shows more on his/her left side. The same applies when we’re feeling sad or mad, so whenever you’re experiencing those emotions, show your right cheek if you want to hide it…or your left cheek if you want to show it.

The greater expressiveness of the left side of your face holds true whether you’re right-handed or left-handed.  This issue of showing emotions has to do with muscle control. Each side of the brain controls the muscle groups on the opposite side of the face—around the mouth and cheeks, in particular.


The next time someone snaps a photo of you, you might try putting your left cheek forward when you smile for the camera. This trick may also come in handy during other situations where you’d want to angle yourself  better to make a good first impression.