Before & After: How Your Brain Wishes You Looked

Photo: Scott Chasserot
a woman's face

How do you see yourself? That's what photographer Scott Chasserot wanted to find out when he created his Original/Ideal project.

Chasserot launched a "crowdfunding campaign," in which pictures of participants' faces were placed next to pictures of what their brains found to be their ideal faces.

"To create the images, Chasserot first takes portraits of each subject. Then, he creates a separate series of images from the original photo in which each participant's photo is altered slightly, feature by feature. From there, the subject is shown each picture in the new series while wearing a brain-monitoring electroencephalogram (EEG) device." 

If I was to look at the first picture and then see the second picture without the reference to the first photo, I don't think I would notice a difference at all.  

This project actually found a reoccurrence in the way people wanted to be seen, and we have them here. We looked at recent beauty trends and tried to show what they would look like on a regular person.

Here are the before and after on how your brain wishes you looked:

1. Bigger eyes and fuller eyebrows

It's all about the eyes. It's one of the first things we notice about a person, and always the thing we gush to our friends about when we see a cutie on the train.

You're a liar if you don't agree that you're a sucker for someone with big brown eyes.

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2. A contoured, pouty face

Well-defined features are what a lot of women try to recreate with their makeup. It's kind of sad that there are so many things out there that are labeled as "enhancing your looks," or something that's guaranteed to make you look thinner/more attractive.

I might also be a little mad because I have no idea how to contour at all.

3. A skinnier nose and arched brows.

A narrowed nose seems to be the beauty ideal nowadays, but be aware that these kinds of trends go in and out of style every 10 years or so. Who's to say that 15 years from now a hooked nose will be the latest style?

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4. A perfectly symmetrical face

This gets the all-in-one deal. Don't be upset if you don't have a perfectly symmetrical face, rarely anyone does. The world would be a lot less beautiful and wonderful if everyone was made to look the same. The lesson learned from this is that we should embrace our flaws and know that there's nothing wrong with the way we look because that's how humans are supposed to look: different.

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Stacy Narine is a freelance writer who writes about lifestyle, dating, and how to navigate it all.

no idea i couldn't get rid of this