Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blind and Sighted People How to Describe a Face

When I talk about the faces of dolls, or for that matter people, with a sighted person, I never know if we're communicating.. I have found that with dolls we usually Aren't. Sighted people are usually describing the paint job on a doll's face, and I am usually referring to the mold used. But with people, those with vision aren't so easily fooled by the "paint".

So, since sighted people see in three dimensions and I must touch in two, then assemble a complete picture in my mind, are we saying the same things when we use the same words?

When a sighted person says that a person has a "round face" are they talking about the shape of the face from right side of it to left side? Or are they saying that if I start at the forehead and trace down one side of a face, going beneath the chin and up the other side back to the forehead, the shape is basically round? Maybe they're saying that the face is round in Both of these ways and without the specifics of nose, chin, the face is like half of a sphere. Which is it, or is it different for each sighted person calling a face "round"?

Long faces are easier, I am guessing that they are long from top of forehead to bottom of chin.

Almond shaped eyes are another confuser. Only Ann, who was an artist, knew what I meant when I studied doll faces and said that some dolls had almond shapped eyes because their cheekbones tilted them up, and some had this shape because the upper eyelid came down in a curve which brought a point to the outside corner of an eye. Is this how people who are East Asian tell what country or countries a person is from or do sighted people even notice this? Some African people have almond shaped eyes, and so do some Native Americans. And in "doll world" just about Everybody does. It is confusing.

An oval face should in theory be the same width at the forehead top as at the chin, but foreheads are almost Always wider than chins, so what is an oval face?

An egg shaped face kind of makes sense, pointed end of egg is at the chin, right?

A rectangular face should be longer from forehead to chin than it is wide, I think. But where does that leave facial features? Someone might have a square face, (if you mean tracing around its outer contours) and large cheeks while another person could have the same square face and small cheeks. This may be an untranslatable language. Sometimes Ann and I ran into problems in her descriptions of art. Finally I discovered that what she was doing was showing an aspect of a thing. It could be emotion, or the imitation of the play of light and shadow on a thing or person. She liked to work with reflections of something shown and shown again in water and sometimes water and sky. I understood intelectually, but this was Out of my physical experience, completely. Still, she taught me a lot about sight and what light, shadows, and reflections can do.

High cheekbones is another problem. Cheekbones aren't the bones just below the eye, protecting the eye. on dolls they are clearly marked out, but on human faces the scale is too big to find them easily, especially if there is flesh on the face, the person isn't Super thin like a model. I have been told I have higher than usual cheekbones. I can feel them at the side of my face, making that the widest part of my face. Is that what people mean? Or do sighted people mean they can follow the cheekbone around visually and separate it, in the front of the face, under the eye protecting bone?

I will take a doll quiz. I would say if asked that the Mackey face is small and square. I have a Mackey faced Barbie from Kenya and I really Like her face! I would say that Imani dolls seem to have triangular faces. They are pointed in front and widen as you trac the sides of the face, (chin, at cheek level, and almost at forehead) back toward the hair. Are we speaking the same language? I would say that the SIS Dolls have round faces. Does this mean also that they have strong cheekbones to hold their faces in a rounded shape? On male dolls, because features are more pronounced, I can follow individual features better. Also, Disney dolls often seem to have clearer face shapes. Bell's face is kind of triangular, narrowing at the chin. The faces of Pocohontas and Coco`um have prominent cheekbones which slant their eyes, while Nacoma has a smaller, rounder face. Disney's Snow White has a basically round face while Barbie's Snow White has a longer, thinner face. I don't know what shape I'd call the face of Barbie's Snow White. a thin oval. Mulan has a lovely face, (like my Quan Yin statue) with eyes that slant because her cheekbones do. What shape is Mulan's face? It is fairly straight up and down on the sides below her forehead, but pointed in front.

Ann once said I had one of the most varied doll collections she had ever seen. I think it's because I pay attention mostly to the face and hair.

I like interesting noses that take up space, like Mulan's, Houda's a doll called Elise has a gorgeous face and nose, and I think the nose of Bionce Knowles is beautiful. Opal has a good nose and the Get Set Club dolls All had and have great faces. Then there is Cher, the Calisto doll, the Original Xena doll, all are unique and cool. It's actually easier to feel shape on a smaller doll's face (play scale) than on an 18 inch doll's face. I can get the whole face at once with an 11 or 12 inch tall figure. But I haven't ever been able to translate that understanding to my own face or to that of larger dolls. I find this Frustrating!

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