Being obsessed with allure of symmetry

A slew of filters on social media allow users to evaluate their features, reigniting age-old obsessions with beauty and perfection.

A cracked ceramic lotus flower being given a whole new life via kintsugi, an aesthetic principle that celebrates breakage and imperfection. PHOTO: NYTIMES
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(NYTIMES) - Mirrors lie. They reverse things. That face you see in the bathroom every morning, in your make-up compact: that is “opposite you” – the inverse of the face everyone else sees. We all know this, in theory. 

And yet, for the past two years or so, this simple fact has riveted and sometimes deeply upset many people (especially young ones) trying out the facial-symmetry filters on social media. Some of these filters invert the mirror’s reflection, revealing images of one’s face as others perceive it, unnerving many users by casting new light on all the imperfections to which our familiar mirrored reflections inure, or even blind us: the uneven hairline, the crooked mouth, the not perfectly level eyes.

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