Looking back through my sketches that I had made while commuting to and from Kyoto over the past year I noticed most of them were of men’s faces. Indeed, sometimes during my commute period there were more men than women on the train, but were I to be honest, perhaps men’s faces appear more often in my sketch book because of my own bias on what beauty is. More direct, I avoid drawing women’s faces because I do not want to draw an ugly woman’s face.
That is not to say that men exist only within the sphere of ugliness, the world is abound with beautiful men, but what makes a man’s face beautiful is more easily digested and disected for me than a woman’s face. I am after all one myself and I have seen my face countless of times. I do not fear looking at a man’s face, sketching it down on paper, then moving on to another.
What is more, is since I fail to capture any true likeness of the face that I am drawing I tend to draw people more grotesque than they actually are. Thus my bias emerges. In my sketches of men’s faces, with their minute ugliness accentuated, I can still find beauty. A melancholy that still attracts me and unlike my poor women’s faces, hideous in their representation of the actual person, they seem complete as though I have captured some reality of the face that frequently goes unnoticed. That being, that men are broken. All the posturing that men do throughout the day hides the weak boy hidden within.
Yet, my sketches of women’s faces just appear grotesque. Perhaps my eyes are victims to societies’s view of the ideal beautiful woman. I fear that since this ideal hurts so many women that do not fit the mold my grotesque women’s faces perpetuates this ideal. Hence I stray from drawing them. Had I the ability to capture the likeness of the women before me, my pen would scribble down the hope and strength that I see in them, as is true for men’s faces. So it seems to be even more honest, I stray from drawing women’s faces for fear that my constant quick glances and infrequent intense stares will be misinterpreted. A shallow reason perhaps. Unfortunately, my women’s faces may never express what I want them to.