Abraham Lincoln once took a line from an old limerick and said, “As for my face, I do not mind it, as I am the one who is behind it.” When it came to looks, our most recognizable president was no Ronald Reagan, our movie star president. You can clearly see the burden of war in the lines of Lincoln’s sad face in the final photograph taken of him just four days before his assassination. Lincoln is proof you don’t have to be nice looking in order to achieve great accomplishments.

It’s been said when a man becomes 50-years-old, he will be wearing the face he deserves. All his life’s struggles and achievements will be permanently etched into his face. And the less handsome a man’s face, the more character it reveals. I can’t recall how I looked when I was 50 so I can’t say if this is absolutely true. I do remember I had somewhat more hair on my head and less on my chin.  

Although it takes up only 4.5% of the surface area of an adult body, the human face handles some pretty important functions like tasting, smelling, eating, seeing, and speaking. Some lucky people can also add kissing. By comparison, the face of a child takes up 9% of space in proportion to their smaller bodies. That’s twice the surface area of an adult face. You wouldn’t know that just by looking at them. It seems like I would have noticed something like that before now.

We communicate much better when we are face to face because we can see and interpret each other’s body language and facial expressions. This is much better than texting because you must resort to using all caps when you have a need to shout. LOL and OMG. 

Sometimes, when meeting in person, you don’t even need words. You can express a wide range of emotions with just your eyes. There is no questioning a “come hither” look from across a crowded room. Whereas a stern glare will have the opposite effect. If only looks could kill. 

Other than the fact that I like to look at them, I don’t profess to know a lot about women’s faces. It’s difficult for me to tell a woman’s past just by looking at her. That could be because most of them are hidden behind a mask of paint and powder. But that’s fine with me. Makeup can be extremely beneficial. Go to the internet and look up some closeup shots of our most famous beautiful female movie stars, before and after makeup, and you’ll see what I mean. And imagine what would have happened if Hillary had been elected president and was summoned to the war room in the middle of the night after she had removed her makeup. War can be ugly. 

There are a number of folks who aren’t too happy with the appearance of the mugs they were born with. Fortunately, modern medical procedures can fix that unsightly problem. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says that 1,811,740 people had cosmetic procedures done in the United States in 2018. A lot of these people were women who had facelifts done on faces they hide with makeup anyway.  Of these, 213,780 patients shelled out the big bucks and transformed oversized beaks into cute little turned-up noses.   

While not officially considered a part of the face, conveniently located, just around the corner, we have the ears. Some people’s ears are beautiful, but I’ve always considered our ears to be the part of our body that’s the most oddly designed, aesthetically speaking. They are also the part of our body that’s most difficult to clean because of all those weird little crevices you must dig into. An interesting and handy thing about our ears is that the spot where the top of your ear is attached to the side of your head happens to be exactly horizontally centered with your pupils. And your pupils are positioned in the exact vertical center of your face. You look good behind those Ray-Bans because they are perfectly balanced and level, centered on your face and not sitting all askew because your ears are situated either too low, too high, or out of whack.  

From the neck down, other than a vast variety of sizes, we are all pretty much the same. Our faces are what really distinguishes us from each other. Our faces make us unique. It’s how we are identified. Handsome or pretty, or just downright butt ugly, unless you have an identical twin or a doppelgänger somewhere on the other side of the planet, your face is one-of-a-kind. You can put makeup on it, shave it, tattoo it, or put on a jewel-encrusted N95 mask. It will still be just a face in the crowd. 


Steve Reece is a contributing writer for the Reporter and a known crime fighter. Email him at