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Showing concern without a face—1:08 PM

I've already bitched about the difficulty of properly communicating the state of being "concerned" without having any facial expressions – and with the added restriction of my self-imposed war on context-giving props or storytelling situations. (My hard-line stance has been validated by classmates farther along in the program, so I feel good about it.)

From the beginning, I knew I'd be dealing in varying flavors of concern. One idea would be concern mixed with suspicion:

Another (admittedly, a little bit contexty) had more of a concern/caution mix to it. Maybe Stu had heard something Under the Rug and investigated with concern for his safety?

After laughing off those initial attempts, my mom pointed me to a picture of GM CEO Fritz Henderson from her issue of The Week magazine. (If anyone has reason to be concerned these days...)

I ended up submitting that one, because it came the closest to pure "concern," even though it was also the dullest pose in terms of appeal. It turns out concern just isn't all that appealing.

Still, a part of me couldn't help liking the more active style of the caution/concern poses, so I created one more. Never really caught on with my classmates, and even though family and friends liked it, they didn't feel like it communicated "concern" in particular. Fine, people! Whatever!

5 Comments (Add your comments)

ACMon, 11/30/09 2:36pm

I've always thought Tim Gunn does the best concerned look. Sure, 90% is in the scowl, but he often does one arm across the chest with the other over his face or playing with his glasses:

Bee BoyMon, 11/30/09 3:40pm

That's funny, my mom suggested this Jack Benny pose:

Not quite as concerned as Gunn, but it's not altogether dissimilar. I steered away from it, because I had just done a similar arm-crossed-under-elbow thing for devastation and I was already worried that the two were in danger of overlapping, what with the necessity of returning the hand to the head and all.

It's amazing how many nuances there are! It's enough to keep Paul Ekman going for years (or his knockoff Fox doppelgänger Cal Lightman).

"EXT-1"Mon, 11/30/09 7:19pm

I was also thinking facepalm.

BrandonWed, 12/2/09 3:55pm

Nathan is definitely concerned about the dipping-toe-in-water Stu: "Whale gonna get him. Give him an owie. That very, very bad."

Bee BoyThu, 12/3/09 10:41am

Between Grace's obsession with gators and Nate's whale worries, I have a feeling you're never getting your kids in water. Thankfully, there are only 10,000 lakes nearby.

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