TCU’s Office of Extended Education used to offer a non-credit course in face reading—I’m not sure what it was really titled, but as I recall the idea was to cram into one two-hour session as much as you need to know about deciphering a person’s personality, honesty, integrity—all those things—from looking at the face.
It put me in mind of my mother who, in her later years, used to scream every time Richard Nixon came on the TV: “Look at that face! Look at those eyes! You can tell how dishonest he is!” Well, turned out Mom was once again right.
I got to thinking about that the other idea when I saw Carly Fiorina on the TV. I abhor Donald Trump’s misogynistic comments on her appearance. Not only were they generally out of line, they have no place in the political arena. But I got to watching Fiorina’s face during interviews—yes, she smiles sometimes, but the smile never reaches her eyes (and so I’m convinced, it never reaches her soul). Based on that highly subjective impression, regardless of the negative things I’ve heard about her, I wouldn’t vote for her. Her face shows no compassion, no human soul within. I suspect she’s an ambitious machine.
Then I got to looking at other candidates, mostly Democratic: Hillary is a puzzle, because sometimes she looks warm and human, she smiles, her eyes sparkle; but other times she has a hard, calculating look about her. Frequently I think media photographers do their best to catch her in a down moment, a not always flattering time. I would vote for her because I think she’s competent, capable, and knowledgeable—and no more or less corrupt than most people in our government. But her face doesn’t always convince me.
On the other hand, both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden (is he or isn’t he running?) have wide open happy faces. They are people I’d like to sit and visit with. I have great admiration for and faith in both of them. That says nothing about whether or not they could win the nomination.
I didn’t look much at the Republican candidates because to me they all run into a blur of bland—except Donald Trump, whose face always looks angry. What we don’t need is an angry leader. Other than that, the only Republican leader I can single out for my amateur face reading is Mitch McConnell, and thank heavens he’s not a candidate. But to me he always looks like a prissy, disapproving old maid, his mouth drawn into a moue. an expression of distaste. Oh, of course, there’s always John Boehner, who usually looked grim and sad and was on the edge of tears.
Don’t confine yourself to politics—take a close look at your friends. How open are their expressions? How genuine? How welcoming. After the Pope’s visit, which was to me all about compassion, I’m tempted to ask, “How compassionate are your friends?”