Springingtiger's Blog


Facial Expressions

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As I was brushing my teeth in front of my bathroom mirror, I became quite fascinated by the variety of expressions through which my face passed within just a couple of minutes. It is very much our expressions that give life to our faces and make us identifiable.

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I am always fascinated by those forensic artists who, presented with a scull, can reconstruct the face of its owner. However without knowing it’s eye color and expressions there is always something missing. I always find the monochrome reconstructions shown inn the news a little disturbing, somewhat like the photographs used in a recent Myasthenia Gravis advertising campaign. It is not the health problems experienced by Myasthenia sufferers that horrifies me as much as losing facial expression, I am grateful that they can get support from the Myasthenia Gravis Association

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I, like many autistic people,  am appallingly bad at understanding facial expressions, but I recognise them as an aspect of humanity, I may not understand them, but I drive a degree of comfort from their presence. I am also aware that, although I may not understand facial expressions, I communicate through them, not deliberately, but involuntarily, there are certain expressions common to humanity regardless of culture. The inability to read faces tends to cut me off from somewhat from humans, but were I also unable to express emotion through expression then there wool be virtually no connection. It is said that seventy five percent of communication is non verbal. As long as I have facial expression I have a, more or less, complete outward communication, it is a bridge between me and others.

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I much prefer radio to television because it is designed to communicate in words without recourse to body language and facial expression. I recently watched “A Touch of Class” and I realised that the elements of a film I best enjoy are the action and slapstick sequences, I enjoy well written dialogue, but deep meaningful glances and subtle gesture are wasted on me, I did not enjoy “A Touch of Class”. I love Shakespeare and films based on Jane Austen, although the Austen films do have subtleties, the dialogue is so precise I don’t think I miss anything and the comedy is far from subtle.

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I am fascinated by facial expressions, I may not understand them, but I shall continue to amuse myself by pulling faces in the mirror.

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