How symmetrical an adult’s face is can reveal a great deal about their childhood — the following factors during childhood may affect a person’s facial features – exposure to tobacco smoke, pollution exposure, nutrition, childhood socioeconomic status, and illnesses.
- Socioeconomic factors during adulthood do not appear to impact on people’s facial features
- Those who become rich, but experienced a deprived childhood will have more asymmetrical facial features as a consequence, compared to people with privileged childhoods who became poor later on.
This may explain why some celebrities who had difficult childhoods have distinctive asymmetrical features, despite having accumulated riches during adulthood.
- “Symmetry in the face is thought to be a marker of what is called developmental stability – the body’s ability to withstand environmental stressors and not be knocked off its developmental path.
- We wondered whether facial symmetry would faintly record either the stressors in early life, which we though might be especially important, or the total accumulated effects of stressors through the lifecourse.
- The results indicated that it is deprivation in early life that leaves some impression on the face. The association is not very strong, meaning that other things also affect facial symmetry too.”
They found that facial symmetry among males was closely linked to social class as children – the more symmetrical their faces as adults, the more comfortable their upbringings were. Even though similar associations were found among females, they were less pronounced.
“Markers of childhood disturbance remain many decades later, suggesting that early development may account in part for associations between social-economic status and health through the lifecourse.”