Which Side Is Your Good Side and How to Find It

So you don't have that "oh sh*t" moment every time somebody pulls out their cell phone.

Good side
(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

When taking group pictures, it's more than likely that you've been forced to switch places with your friends because "that's not their good side" or they "look better on the left." This was constantly happening to me, but I never really understood what it was all about—I'd be just as fine standing on the left or the right. Determined to figure it out, I'd stare at each side of my face in the mirror (and, of course, take numerous selfies) but I couldn't decide if there really was a good side of my face. I mean, it all looks pretty much the same right?

Regardless of how similar both sides seem to be, nobody has a perfectly symmetrical face. One eye is always a bit smaller or a cheek a bit thinner. In most people the differences are barely noticeable, so why do we care about our "good" side anyway? Besides wanting (excuse the pun) to put your best face forward, researchers and scientists believe that facial characteristics can reveal personality traits to observers. A study published in Psychological Science discovered that humans make lasting judgements about a person's character after being exposed to a face for only 100 milliseconds. While it goes against the golden code of good manners, we (very quickly) judge books by their covers. What's more is that people act on these judgements. A jury is more likely to exonerate an individual with a "baby" face and who is thus seen as having an innocent disposition. (Cool, justice.) So, yeah, first impressions are important, whether we like it or not.

So I set out to find my good side. Photographer Kathryn Wirsing took a profile shot of both my left and right side, and after much flipping back and forth we decided that the right side of my face is the best.

Right side

(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

Left Side:

Left side

(Image credit: Kathryn Wirsing)

My left cheek appears more full, giving me a cherub look. Contrarily, everything about my right side is more defined—my eyebrow, my cheek, and my jaw. In sum, the right side looks decidedly more mature.

Kathryn's opinions were similar. "The Jawline on your right side is more defined. Your brow is more structured and the eye is larger. It looks more confident, mature, and inviting."

From a photographer's point of view, stronger and more defined characteristics are more aesthetically pleasing. Kathryn often directs her subjects to put their chin down or stick out their necks to further define their jaw or neck in order to get a more flattering photo.

Still not sure which side is your good side? A 2012 study found that most people's left sides were deemed their "best" side—meaning I'm an anomaly. (Oh well.)

Even if you think it's all malarky, science tells us that finding your good side can only be a *good* thing. We're not saying you should covet your best side so much you become aggressive ("NO, I'M ALWAYS ON THE LEFT!"), but your slightly more structured right brow might just make a difference when you really need it.

Simedar Jackson

Simedar Jackson is an esthetician, content creator, and lover of sci-fi fiction living in Brooklyn, New York. She is passionate about creating space for Black and Brown people in the beauty and wellness industries by providing access to culturally nuanced education and services that meet their needs. You can find them doing their skincare routine, reminding friends to reapply SPF, and watching reruns of Love Island.