Disclaimer: I just pulled random Google Image results. No thought or care has been given to the content of source. Sorry if I'm linking to something weird.
The other day in English class we were talking about hair styles and one boy said he thought the shīfu 师傅 (in this case, "barber") should consider your face shape (liǎnxíng 脸型) when recommending a hair style.
This lead me to say, "Um… what are the choices for face shapes?"
The class agree there were some "standard" face shapes that everyone talks about (I think it's girls mostly).
A quick Google Images search for each of the four, respectively, lead me to some images.
The two everyone wants are:
1) guāzǐ liǎn 瓜子脸 = Mellon-seed Face
2) é dàn liǎn 鹅蛋脸 = Goose-egg Face
I don't see a huge difference, but I think the guāzǐ liǎn is just higher cheekbones and a sharper chin, generally (even though we can't actually SEE her chin in the first picture).
Then there are the less desirable ones:
3) guó zì liǎn 国字脸 = "Country"-character Face
4) bǐng liǎn 饼脸 = Flat-cake Face
(Didn't feel right somehow, putting up pictures of these two. You'll have to do your own Google Search.)
Seems like those are the two that girls don't want to have.
Anyway, it got me thinking:
I don't think there are handy, standard expressions like this to describe face shapes in English. I mean, a discussion about face shapes with people in general would be weird for me, personally. But even stranger would be if I discovered that everyone had a shared vocabulary for this in English.
How funny that I could say to a Chinese girl, "You've got a face like a melon seed" and her response would be to beam back a huge smile and say, "Why thank you! And you've got a goose egg face yourself."
Because of the high romance of that second thought, this is getting filed under "Love and Dating"! (only the second ever post to be awarded that prestigious label)
Do these seem to be well-known face shapes all over China? Feel free to leave a comment to let us know.