The Physical Characteristics of Different Style Identities Correspond to Real Visual Signifiers of Age and Sex
How's that for a click-baity title, ha ha?
(Seriously though, I might be the only person alive who prefers long and dry over short and grabby. I am wholly a nerd.)
At any rate, here's what I mean: In my Style Identity system, when I say that a physical characteristic reads as womanly, or manly, or mature, or childlike, that's generally because that (average) physical difference exists in real life.
We are all unconsciously aware of the visual signifiers of masculinity and femininity, of maturity and youth. We make instantaneous judgments about other people's age and masculinity/femininity based on visual cues we're not even aware that we are processing.
Here are some examples of what I mean.
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You may notice that I didn't mention Ethereal, Dramatic, or Classic in this article.
Classics are easy: Imagine that you averaged all male features and all female features. Beauty in a female Classic represents a face that's slightly to the feminine side of that perfect average, and beauty in a male Classic represents a point that's slight to the male side. In Classic men and women both, nothing's noticeably big, or small, or sharp, or round, or high, or low, or full, or thin, or wide, or narrow. See more about that beauty here.
As for Ethereals and Dramatics, their beauty derives from archetypes that aren't based in human physical reality. That's a long post, though, so I'll save it for next week. :-)
2/12/2018 12:10:48 pm
Long live the nerds! Nice to have a title that actually says what the article is about.
2/12/2018 01:57:30 pm
This is great stuff. I love all the specifics. So excited for the Dramatic/Ethereal post!
2/12/2018 03:35:53 pm
Fascinating! -- and now I'm totally curious about dramatic/ethereal. Not based in physical reality? So...?? Ok, holding my questions until next week.
2/12/2018 10:56:56 pm
Hmm, based on this I'm now wondering if I have a smidge of Romantic in the mix because of my lips (with the style calculator, I got a whole lot of Natural with quite a bit of Ingenue and Ethereal). It wouldn't be much though probably - Romantic styles look very, very wrong on me. I never could figure out why I looked so strange dressed up, and now I know it's because the typical "dressed up" for women is usually Romantic.
2/13/2018 12:46:42 am
This confirms my suspicion that my husband is Gamine! I find details like this so fascinating.
2/13/2018 09:59:22 pm
Is it possible that sometimes Romantic and Natural characteristics can get mixed up? I remember a post where someone mentioned that the bluntness of natural could be confused possibly with the softening of a romantic. What is the difference of blunt/soft edged and the romantic soft features? I look everywhere and can't get a clear example of exactly what blunt features mean, I even saw a person saying that Doutzen Krous is a natural for example but doesn't make sense to me.
2/15/2018 10:42:53 pm
Thanks Katja! I think that is a great answer I totally get it. That's another Mandy down there, lol. Not me : )
2/14/2018 03:06:27 am
Hi, Mandy! Yes, Romantic and Natural characteristics can get mixed up. But try to see it like this:
2/15/2018 10:52:22 pm
My reply to you ended up above yours : 0
2/14/2018 08:36:19 am
I'm an SN with a big forehead and decent sized lips (for a white girl).
3/30/2018 11:07:41 pm
What is an SN?
2/14/2018 06:54:36 pm
This makes so much sense! To echo the other commenters: the nerdier, the better!
2/18/2018 05:59:59 pm
Taking a stab at this based on the other posts on this site (e.g., gamine, ingenue): I think aging might have some influence, but not much. So much of Rachel's system here is *relative* to the general population. So, on average, children have limbal rings, bigger eyes, larger foreheads, etc. But adults who still have these features past puberty (more so than other adults) read younger (relative to other adults).
2/19/2018 08:58:11 pm
That makes sense—thank you!
2/28/2018 06:37:12 pm
I love this topic and you've done a great job laying it out here. I went to a very anatomy/portraiture oriented art school and we were always taught to succinctly convey a male or female face using these types of guidelines, and then to look for deviations from the "base"/gender archetypal face to get at the individual character). These are a couple more factors I think are relevant when analyzing the 'vibe' of a face.
3/27/2018 07:20:39 pm
Would visible freckles contribute to a gamine or ingenue appearance? I thought that they might since freckles tend to fade with age
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