Sunday, October 7, 2012


Physiognomy (from the Gk. physis meaning "nature" and gnomon meaning "judge" or "interpreter") is the assessment of a person's character or personality from his outer appearance, especially the face. The term physiognomy can also refer to the general appearance of a person, object or terrain, without reference to its implied characteristics.

The ancient art of Physiognomy, if learned and practiced, may be useful to catch a glimpse into the soul of a person, their thoughts, ideas, world-views, without regard to the content or veracity of the words escaping from their mouths. Alexandre Dumas made use of this art in many of his writings. The Count of Monte Christo was a master of reading physiognomies in constructing the events which eventually led to the fulfilled vengeance he desired after being betrayed...   Let's apply the art of physiognomy to this year's presidential election, if you will allow me to do so...    
Notice the slight tilt of Governor Romney's head, the semi-smile centered on slightly tightened jowls, the slight down cast eyes and strong brow, slightly raised above the bridge of the nose; the slightly wrinkled forhead which denotes a superiority, real or imagined. Without uttering a word, Governor Romney, in his manner, demeanor, and facial expression, is speaking volumes. The head tilted toward President Obama, the eyes tilted in their sockets so as to project a "looking down upon" the President, is like the expression of a parent, communicating to their child who has, once again, failed to clean their room. One can almost imagine this parent saying something like, "Now Billy, you know you can't get a bedtime story until you clean your room." In this instance, Governor Romney, with his physiognomy, seems to be saying, "You poor, uneducated man. You just can't keep up can you? So sad."        
    President Obama may be studied as well, simply by observing the facial expressions. I've looked at several from different points in the debate so as to not take his physiognomy out of context. This expression was flashed by our President several times, usually during a personal attack from Governor Romney. The downward glance implies he was struggling to control some emotion. In fact, during most of the debate, President Obama failed to look at Romney while Romney was speaking. This implies a discomfort - an irritation- not unlike the discomfort I feel when I am speaking to someone who is condescending or to someone, I know, is arrogantly pulling my leg, as if I didn't know. This tight lipped smirk shown here, implies a humorous internal conversation. It is my opinion that President Obama's internal conversation went something like this:   "I want to lay into him so bad, but my advisors tell me to let it go. Can't believe this tripe. This guy makes my brain hurt. Okay, okay, big man, just keep talking. The press is going to check what you say. Just let it ride. Let it ride."              

1 comment:

  1. Mitt Romney looks like that in every photo I've seen, actually. :)