Chinese vs. American facial expressions (Lie To Me)
Yesterday I went to my friend’s place in Union Square, we started talking about “Lie to Me” (a tv series which I watch often in China while practicing my guitar playing), and that sparked a very interesting conversation about the difference between Chinese and American people’s facial expressions.
I talked about how when I look at myself hosting with Chinese people, there is a very clear difference in the facial expressions. My facial expressions are more emphatic, and I have different expressions, sometimes I pull the left side of my nose up, I also do this annoying thing where when i’m surprised my forhead crinkles up (I don’t think I’ve every seen a Chinese host do that). When I look at ABC’s together with Chinese, even without hearing them talking I can know immediately who is an ABC (American born Chinese) just by looking at the expressions on their face, there are some expressions on the ABC’s face that don’t exist in the vocabulary of Chinese expressions.
And I’m probably stretching science a bit too much here. But all of this may be one of the reasons why American’s tend to have older looking faces than Chinese. Of course some of the reasons is the difference in skin condition (oily vs. dry), and other genetic conditions. But recently I had started asking myself why I had fine lines under the left side of my eye and not the right side. Then someone said something to me and I sneared, pulling the left side of my nose up. I have been doing that for years, and it’s always the left side of the nose, never the right.