Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Ugly Face

Over the years, I've become aware of a phenomenon that all women seem to have in common. I call it "The Ugly Face." No matter how attractive a woman is, when she's in a particular emotional state (typically related to something I have done), her face becomes contorted to a degree that is truly unpleasant to witness. Normally, this condition occurs during periods of great anger or despair.

However, I don't want to confuse "The Ugly Face" with the "Cosmetic Distress" face. The "Cosmetic Distress" face is the face that some women practice in front of a mirror to feign anger or despair when they want to use that emotion for personal gain. It's not an ugly face at all, but a carefully rehearsed modification of their normal beauty, which does not make them look less attractive.

To be fair, some men practice faces in the mirror as well. The "Are you talking to me?" scene from Taxi Driver comes to mind. But I think women are more guilty of this.

My wife has often commented during a movie or TV show that some actress "cries well." This statement is an oxymoron as far as I'm concerned, but I think it means that the actress can produce tears without smearing her makeup, sob softly and convincingly without making snorting noises, and produce that doe-eyed pitiful look that melts men's hearts.

When a woman becomes so upset that her "Cosmetic Distress" face collapses into "The Ugly Face," men all over the world realize the gloves are off, and she means business.

The other night, I realized that people sometimes display "The Ugly Face" at other times. I play pool in a pool league, and I've noticed that some men and some women change their face in amusing, often unpleasant ways when they are lining up a pool shot. For example, one guy with a wall-eye is miraculously able to wheel that eye forward when lining up a shot. As soon as the shot is over, it swings back toward left field. An otherwise attractive Asian woman becomes quite frightening to watch, scrunching up her face like some kind of grotesque Halloween mask just before she shoots. Some dangle their tongues like dogs. Some develop an overbite. Some develop an underbite. It's funny to watch.

A friend of mine commented that men have an "Ugly Face" too. She says it occurs when men orgasm. The "Orgasm Face" is not something men practice in front of a mirror, and most men probably don't realize they're being observed with dispassionate interest at this crucial moment. Excuse me, I have to go and practice.

1 comment:

Kim said...

And some raise their eyebrows before making a shot! ;)

Go rent "Office Space" for the "O-face". *grin*