Beauty Trends From History: Head Lengthening – How You Too Can Get A Sexy Face Shape

Squiggle face and proud!

I’m pretty sure I have a squiggle face. Maybe you do, too. You know how beauty magazines always lecture you about how you’re supposed to pick your hairstyle and glasses shape and determine the crucial question of whether or not you can have bangs by following the rules for your “face shape”? Oval or square or inverted triangle and so on. Were you able to do that? Did anyone clearly recognize a heart (or more interestingly, a, say rhombus) when they tried to draw the outline of their reflection in the mirror? If you were a rhombus head, I respect you and hope you’re doing well, but you can never hang out with us squiggle heads.


I could never determine the shape of my own face to my satisfaction during the height of my beauty magazine reading. Isn’t every face an oval? Aren’t they all vaguely circular? Still, I couldn’t stop trying to figure it out even though my mom once yelled at me for covering the bathroom mirror in soap in an ill-fated attempt to trace the outline of my reflection, following Glamor’s advice.


I should mention that I regard my mother as the cause of my inability to recognize my facial shape. Not just because she interrupted my abortive face shape determination attempt with cries of “you’re never going to get all that soap off the mirror!” No, for something even more primal than that. If only she hadn’t left the shape of my face up to genetics.

If only she had intervened a bit. If only she had been into what the anthropologists like to call “artificial cranial deformation.”

Remember how your mom told you “be gentle!” with the head of your baby brother, because of the “soft spot”? Your mother is clearly not from New Britain in Papua New Guinea. Babies’ entire skulls are basically like silly-putty, with bones joined together with soft sutures, so that the skull can compress a bit during birth (shudder) and expand to grow. If you leave it alone, the skull will grow fairly uniformly, expanding equally on the left and the right, for example.

Monster from Mars

BUT there are much more fun things to do.

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    • Meghan Keane

      If I start wearing one of those baby helmets now, will it be too late for me to give myself a squiggle face?