Have you ever noticed that the evil witches in cartoon are often drawn with crooked nose bridge?
Do you also realise that caricaturists would normally portray a skillful chef or gourmet as one who has big belly, round face with double chin?
You can call this stereotyping. Nevertheless, statistically it can be proven.
In the study of Chinese face reading, there is a saying, “鼻有三弯，人定必奸。” In English it implies that someone who has a nose bridge that has “3 turns” or crooked (by looking from the side profile) this person must be scheming. Therefore, this fits the image of a bad-hearted witches like the one in Snow White.
The study of human faces has been around at least for the last 2000 over years. The father of western medicine, Hippocrates, came up with the theory of Humorism which suggested that people can be categorized into 4 different types of temperament or 4 fundamental personality types based on bodily fluid. Over the years, this theory has evolved and in today’s context, we can, by and large, profile a person’s inclination and dominant intrinsic behavior into either one of the followings:
In terms of physical appearance, Nutritive person is rounder, fleshy, has double chin and shorter neck. Such person is financially savvy, loves to enjoy good things in life and is not willing to slog too hard for money. As an icebreaker, ask him or her about investment matters or discuss about the latest property market trend. Else, talk about a great dinning place that you have recently visited for he is a connoisseur of cuisines. This is the reason why cartoonists tend to conjure up the image of a good cook or filthy rich tycoon using a fat man.
On the other hand, the Sportive person is less interested to talk to you about fine arts, wine and dine. He is more career-driven and power hunger. He does not care too much about the ambience or the latest fashion in town. You can bring him to a neighborhood coffee shop or hawker centre and as long as he fills his stomach, he will be satisfied. A Sportive profile person is usually lean and tone and sometimes darker in complexion. He has angular face shape and distinctive jaw line. While such person works hard to prove himself, he may not be skillful in growing his money. An example of a Sportive profile person is President Obama or Robert Downey Jr – the one who acted as Iron Man.
When I think of Emotive-profile people, I would think of the beautiful Korean drama actresses. They are characterized by fair-skin, broader forehead but sharper chin, gentler demeanor, smaller body frame and delicate hands. You can find most ladies belong to this category. If you hire them as a project manager to drive and see through, say a renovation job that requires them to rally the team to work together through thick and thin, they are likely to give up or suffer from mental breakdown half-way through. You see, they are better off as a policy maker, designer, creative director, analyst, musician or singer. This is the reason why their forehead is more developed than the chin. One important tip to the men out there when you are courting the Emotive woman, please bring them to a classy and if possible, 5-Star Michelin restaurant with romantic atmosphere and violinist serenading her during the first date. Hawker center is a big no-no. Flatter her and build dreams with her. I am quite sure she will be yours very soon.
Strength of Western Face Reading
I see the art of face reading as a very powerful tool of persuasion and an effective instrument for building rapport with people. [Tip: For instance, a person with short philtrum is happy to be flattered so you can get her buy-in although you should not try the same technique on someone with a long philtrum.] In the western face reading system, the emphasis is on personality profiling and also as an aid to filter and hire suitable candidates for specific job functions. I personally find it very useful because it looks at the macro aspects of a human anatomy such as skin colour tone, shape of head, body frame, face shape and even body language. This allows us to profile a person’s temperament, his likes and dislikes very quickly the moment we see him or her. This is the main strength.
The Amazing Chinese Face Reading
While the Chinese face reading teaching in the market today focuses a lot on details and nuances of facial features, the amazing part about it is the ability to fortune-tell. It is able to predict which year and month certain mishap will take place just by analyzing the face. It is a destiny analysis tool that can size up one’s relationship with spouse, parents, siblings and children. You will be able to find out whether a woman will likely to marry late or divorce or suffer bad children luck at old age just by examining the forehead, the nose, cheekbone and the chin. [For your information, an Emotive profile lady with protruding forehead is always picky over who should be her Mr Right.] In fact, it is remarkable when comes to the assessment of one’s wealth capacity and his or her current financial condition. You will also be surprised to find out that you can predict the parents’ relationship and financial situation just by observing the child. I would normally share this “trade secret” with the students in the Applied Face Reading Course. This method is known as the art of extrapolation or Hua Xiang Fa 化象法 in Chinese. [Tip: Woman who has freckles on their cheeks is likely to have a husband who has liver or limbs related issue.]
While each system possesses its own strength and weakness, it is good if we can be open and maintain an unbiased approach during our learning journey. Hence, in my last 13 years of research and teaching of face reading, I have adopted the best practices of various countries’ face reading theories including European and Korean systems. Some commonalities among these systems are the abilities to read a person’s characteristics and identify potential health issues.
The Difficulties Faced by Students
Many face reading classes that I come across today focus on micro face reading. This means that students are required to memorise, for example, the meaning behind 20 types of eyes, 20 types of ears, 20 types of brows and etc and try to piece up and apply the various meanings when reading a person’s face so as to come to a conclusion of a person’s personality. Remember, we do not have the luxury of time to scrutinize a client’s or an opponent’s face during a sales pitch or negotiation and then try to make out what each feature means. This was the roadblock I hit during my very early days of study because I realized I could never breakthrough in my face reading skill despite combing through all books on face reading (both Chinese and English).
Thankfully, I met my Taiwanese master who had selflessly imparted the knowledge of this Black and White technique to me. The source of this knowledge came from a late master by the surname of Lu. He traveled to Europe to pick up the western face reading skill during 1950s and later integrate it with his Chinese face reading knowledge. With that, I embrace the belief that when we read a person, we should first start off with the macro (Western) to profile his or her inclinations based on bone structure and skin, and then later zoom into the micro (Chinese) to read the subtlety based on the Wu Guan (五官) or facial features. This approach has been so far so good for me.
Before I pen off, I just want to borrow a quote from Aristotle: the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts in face reading.
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