Study Finds a Secret Benefit to Having a Rounder Face

Updated 09/23/16

Sculpted apples, sunken cheekbones, slimmed noses—ICYMI, the beauty industry is currently obsessed with creating the slimmest and most sculpted face shape possible. In fact, manipulating shadows, blending colors, and utilizing highlight are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the process of achieving bone structure that’s one part J.Lo, one part Naomi. And though we have major appreciation for the expert hacks that make us feel a bit leaner following an impromptu weekend-long Netflix, pizza, why-not-make-bake-cookies-too marathon, we happen to think faces of every shape and size are equally gorgeous (hi, Chrissy, Reese, and Ginnifer). Which is why we were surprised to stumble on some truly astounding information regarding those with rounder, less-sculpted faces.

We already knew that people’s overall appearance automatically affects our personal perception of them, but according to this study in the Trends in Cognitive Sciences journal, those with a rounder face shape are actually perceived as being more trustworthy. So what does that mean? It seems to indicate that we are subconsciously “face-ist,” constantly making snap judgments of people based on their unique facial traits and shapes without even being aware of it. Sound like bologna? Not so fast—the researchers from Carnegie Mellon back up the theory, warning that though these spontaneous judgments are mostly harmless, the consequences can be a bit grimmer when an important event like a trial is at hand.

Considering the upcoming elections, we find the relationship between round faces and trustworthiness extra fascinating, and some of the other findings in the study—like wide eyes, small noses, and high eyebrows signifying passivity, and larger foreheads and prominent noses denoting competence—are pretty intriguing as well. So, for those of you who have been poring over these haircuts that make your face look thinner, maybe reconsider?

Did this study surprise you? Had you ever heard of face-ism? Share your thoughts below!

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