[F&V] Kokopelli: Face the Research

Significance of the Face

The lucky body part that I managed to draw from the Pandora’s Box is… the face! The face is a unique and complicated part of the body. It is not merely another part of the body, but it plays huge roles in shaping us into the person we are and also how we communicate with one another through reading of facial expressions.

I’ve broken down the face into the three roles it plays in our lives – bodily function, identity and non-verbal communication.


Bodily Function:

The face comprises of many parts which include, eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth. That means 4 of out 5 human senses can be found on the face alone! Namely, sight, smell, taste and touch. We see, breathe, breathe and talk using our face.

Let’s not forget about the eyebrows, they’re not for decoration, they have their own functions too! Eyebrows are protect our eyes by channeling moisture, such as sweat and rain, away from our eyes so that our vision stays clear.



Whether we admit it or not, our face plays a huge role in shaping our identity. It makes us self-conscious and affects our self-esteem. How we look on the outside affects how we feel on the inside – that’s why many use make-up or even turn to plastic surgery to enhance their looks so that they may feel more empowered. This also explains why there are many campaigns out there encouraging people to put their identity in who they are rather than how they look like. This is how powerful the face is!


Non-verbal communication:

Facial expression is a form of non-verbal communication. They are caused when the brain understands an emotion and begins to express it. Different emotions have different signals, hence this is how we tell them apart.

Facial expressions can be split into two parts – macro expression and micro expression. When the brain wants to share an emotion, it becomes a macro expression that lasts for 1 – 5 seconds. However, if the brain chooses to hide an emotion, it becomes a micro expression that lasts for 1/25th of a second to 1/15th of a second.


Anatomy of the Face

Image source: HUMAN ANATOMY CHARTS. (2018). Facial Muscle Labels Facial Anatomy « Aestheticcare | Forensic Anatomy References – HUMAN ANATOMY CHARTS. [online] Available at: https://humananatomyly.com/facial-muscle-labels/facial-muscle-labels-facial-anatomy-aestheticcare-forensic-anatomy-references/ [Accessed 19 Feb. 2018].

The muscles that control facial expression, also called mimetic muscles. These muscles are controlled by the facial nerve.


Facial Expressions

The human face is capable of pulling a wide range of facial expressions. I’ve also included some animated characters’ facial expressions because theirs are often exaggerated and express the emotions more dramatically and clearly.

I was trying out some of these expressions myself and I realised that all the muscles of the face have to work together in order to pull off an expression. The eyebrows play a huge part in determining the kind of emotion that the expression is channeling.


Image source: I.pinimg.com. (2018). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/80/4b/53/804b539af766bde881dfe62740599d8a.jpg [Accessed 19 Feb. 2018].
Image source: Theconceptartblog.com. (2018). Wasabi e Yama, de Big Hero 6!, por Jin Kim | THECAB – The Concept Art Blog. [online] Available at: http://www.theconceptartblog.com/2015/01/10/wasabi-e-wama-de-big-hero-6-por-jin-kim/ [Accessed 19 Feb. 2018].
Twitter. (2018). Disney Big Hero 6 ⚽️ on Twitter. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/disneysbighero6/status/565596752603258880 [Accessed 19 Feb. 2018].
Image source: Big Hero 6 Wiki. (2018). Fred by Jin Kim3.jpg. [online] Available at: http://bighero6.wikia.com/wiki/File:Fred_by_Jin_Kim3.jpg [Accessed 19 Feb. 2018].


  • Mentalfloss.com. (2018). Why Do We Have Eyebrows?. [online] Available at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/58424/why-do-we-have-eyebrows [Accessed 19 Feb. 2018].
  • Micro Expression. (2018). Research. [online] Available at: https://microexpressionsciencefair.weebly.com/research.html [Accessed 19 Feb. 2018].
  • Medical Art Library. (2018). Muscles of the Face – Mimetic Muscles – Medical Art Library. [online] Available at: http://www.medicalartlibrary.com/face-muscles/ [Accessed 19 Feb. 2018].

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