A new fashion trend has emerged all over India (and Nepal). The niqab or religious veil, often demonized in the West, is proving to be a boon for young non-Muslim woman on the Indian subcontinent. They like to cover their heads, save for the eyes, with cloth wraps which look from a distance very similar to Islamic face veils. Only, this secular version of the traditional niqab is often much more colourful and its striking patterns seem to be more brash and trendy.
However, the underlying psychological principle obviously is still the same, religious or secular: Less is More. An amorous pass and the first steps of communication are much easier and straight to the point since the eyes are known as the autobahn to the female soul (...unless they are hidden behind sunglasses). All secondary facial expressions (e.g. frowning, scrunching up one’s nose, pulling down the corners of one’s mouth) which can be a deterrent can easily be ignored, at least for the time being. Eyes are not only the means to see this world, but they are also the way through which we can see the heart. Of course, humans wouldn’t be humans (and women not women), without the application of oh-so-reasonable psychological rationalisations such as using the trendy designer scarves for the sole purpose of protection from pollution, wind and sun... It sounds so nice, wise and prudent, doesn’t it?
By the way, the desired focus on those talkative Indian and Nepalese eyes seems to be top-priority to the head-covering girls and young women even at the risk of punishment: Indian police banned head coverings ten years ago as a way to combat terrorism. Fortunately, the most beautiful thing about eyes is that they never lie...
"The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter,
often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter,
in the eye."
(Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre)
"I like you; your eyes are full of language."
(Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters)
Apart from the more fashion-based focus on beautiful eyes there are also religion-based versions (preferably in black) and health-based versions (preferably in white) of the above-mentioned rationalisation which certainly work just as well. Anyway, eyes do matter as one can see below...
One final thought. Perhaps the female face veil/mask acts just as psychological counterbalance to the male full beard. Who's to say...
High-res portrait photographs with full exif data, precise geotags and technical details in Matt Hahnewald's