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Summary: The most important feature on the face isn’t something we usually think about. Usually, we talk about the face as a cohesive whole. That’s why it’s worth taking a little dive on all the elements that make up the face. Would you rather be known for your eyes or your nose? Your lips or your ears? The individual elements of the face more or less work together to comprise the whole. But what’s most important in that equation?

What’s the Most Important Feature on the Face to You?

The human face is an interesting combination of elements. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, freckles, hair, eyelashes. Somehow it all comes together to form a cohesive whole–the face. Your face is what identifies you. Your face is what allows you to express emotion, to convey how you feel. Your face, in many ways, is you.

Now, that’s not exclusively true. But there’s no denying that we live in a very face-centric society. It’s interesting to point out, then, that we hardly ever stop to consider the individual elements of the face. That is, unless they stand out. We can characterize someone by their eyes or nose or lips, but we typically only do so when they stand out in some way (in both good and bad ways).

If the nose sticks out, for example, the other features of the face might take something of a back seat. That’s not necessarily a bad thing–but it does present some interesting questions. Questions like, what’s the most important feature on the face? If you wanted to stand out because of one feature what would it be? And what would you not want to stand out for because of?

The Importance of the Eyes

When people talk about the importance of various facial features, they often first discuss the eyes. The eyes are said to be the “windows of the soul,” and for good reason. There is likely no part of your body that can be quite as expressive (except, perhaps, your hands). And, in this way, the eyes have become kind of symbolic of the face as a whole.

The eyes, also, are one of the more traditionally romantic areas of the face. When people talk about “looking into someone’s eyes,” it’s usually as a means to suss out that person’s true intentions. (For what it’s worth, there are also plenty of references to this in personal combat settings as well.)

All of which is to say that the eyes are an important aspect of your identity. And if you were to ask people what they want to stand out, they’re probably mention the eyes. What’s funny is that, when you stop and think about it, the eyes really do stand out for most people. Most people have amazing eyes! And even if they don’t their faces still manage to somehow be incredibly expressive.

The Importance of the Nose

Now, the nose is different. You want to stand out because of your eyes, but you want your nose to blend in. Part of that has to do with the position of your nose. It’s right there in the center of your face, and in some ways, it’s responsible for tying everything together. Your nose is kind of like the glue that keeps all of your other features centered.

When it’s proportional and doing that work properly, your nose blends in. But sometimes your nose can stand out–for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the nose is too large for the face, or sometimes the nose has been damaged or traumatized and sticks out that way. There’s nothing inherently good or bad about nose size. But the aesthetic balance of your face can sometimes be thrown out of whack by a nose that’s too big or too small (or too crooked–you get the idea).

The reality is that most people do not have a perfectly balanced face. There are imperfections all over. And the nose is commonly one of those areas. But if you have a hard time picturing a friend’s nose–at least now you know the reason! (By the same token, maybe the feature you like best about your friend is his or her nose.)

The Eye of the Beholder

Ultimately, there’s the old cliche that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. And in many ways that’s true. Finding out what “the most important feature on the face” is going to be will vary from person to person and beholder to beholder. That’s not necessarily me trying to sidestep the question, but rather an accurate reflection of the truth.

There’s just no getting around the role that subjectivity plays in determining aesthetics–and that especially applies to determining whether something is beautiful. There are certainly elements of the face that tend to have an outsized effect on perceptions. But what that effect is seems to be, well, in the eye of the beholder.

What’s the most important feature on the face? Well, it depends who’s asking.

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