Human grooming by Daniel Laberge
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Main folds

Vertical folds

Several vertical folds run up and down your body.

Vertical folds

Some vertical folds go
from head to toes
and back

Vertical folds can be long.
The longest ones fold your body from the top of your head down to beneath your feet on one side of you, then do the same on the other side.
They circle your body vertically.

Your skin is like a banana peel

These folds remind me of the seams we see on a banana peel.
The banana is not really round.

Cut banana

It has ridges.
Your body has similar squareness.
We also observe analogous lines on molded objects made out of chocolate or plastic indicating that two or more parts have been assembled.
Vertical folds are placed at precise angles of your body.
They seem to be earlier folds than any others, including horizontal ones.

The center fold

The vertical center fold is the biggest, most significant fold on your body.
It goes up and down in its center.

The vertical center fold

The vertical center fold

It divides you into two symmetrical halves, creating a right and a left side of you.
It is so important that it is accompanied, on each side, by companion folds.
The companion folds are parallel to the center fold staying less than one inch away.
Observe how attached to the bone your skin has become along the vertical center fold's path.
This external division of your body is also present in some internal organs such as your brain.

Other vertical folds

•The side center fold: It divides you into two parts as if you were viewed from the side.
It is the longest fold of all. Picture it as a line dividing your body's front and back, if you were standing on tiptoes.

The vertical side center fold

The vertical side center fold

It runs up and down the sides of your arms and legs, going into the detail of every finger or toe
If you are six feet tall, your vertical side center fold is over sixteen feet long.

•The two corner folds: They frame your body's sides as if you looked at your silhouette from aside.

The vertical corner folds

The vertical corner folds

•The two quarter folds: They split you into quarters by re-subdividing each side created by the center fold.

The vertical quarter folds

The vertical quarter folds

Their path passes straight in the middle of your eyes, breasts, knees and feet.

Fetal origin

Many vertical folds seem to originate from very early development of the fetus.
The phenomenon could be a consequence of the cell multiplication process.
Three week old embryos are clearly divided into two halves.
Folds can be seen around the fingers of 8-10 week old fetuses.


Horizontal folds

Horizontal folding is plainly visible on your fingers, on your forehead, on your belly, ...

Horizontal folds

Horizontal folds circle
every part of your body

You would expect to find horizontal folds only at articulations, but they reside everywhere.
They certainly are more numerous and deep at the joints, but you will be amazed to discover them all along long stretches of bone.

Horizontal folds on your head

These parallel folds are distanced by less than half an inch.
That makes about twenty five of them up your face.
Your eyebrows, eyes and mouth all have three main folds; one in the center, one above and one below.
At least six cross your nose and give it its particular shape.
These folds are phenomenally complex.
They are responsible for your traits, even the look of your eyes.

Horizontal folds on your body

Their spacing is wider on your body.
With an average just above one inch, they are about three times less frequent than on your head.
On your arms and legs, they become closer as you near their extremities.
For each articulation, you will find three main folds; one in the middle, one above and one below though they may join on the inner side.

Origins of horizontal folding

Horizontal folds are above vertical ones, this means they have been created after them.
Thus vertical folds are earlier folds but only by a few weeks since you are born with many of both.
Horizontal folds that develop during your lifetime may be induced by the pull of gravity as you move.


Location specific folds

Your body is feature packed.
Your mouth, your eyes, your ears, your genitals, your ankles, ... all represent complex skin formations and many of them have mobility.
You have grown specific folds for each of these regions: mouth folds, eye folds, ear folds and so on.
Some folds circle these places while others travel right through them.
Some follow underlying muscles and appear as traits.

Vertical mouth folds

Vertical mouth folds

Horizontal mouth folds

Horizontal mouth folds

The more movement there is around them, the deeper the folding.


Posture dependent

These folds are formed because you spend several hours every day holding the same positions.
The skin gets crushed in the areas that are in contact with the surface supporting it.
This creates a small pocket of refolded skin just above this junction.

Standing fold on foot

Standing fold

Humans have three principal postures resulting in a set of particular folds for each one:
•Lying folds
•Standing folds
•Sitting folds
Many people have kneeling folds and we often use our elbows and hands for additional support.


Action dependent folds

This is where all the movements you did in your life are recorded as deep folds.
Doing and redoing the same actions over and over creates a groove at the intersection between the moving parts.
Some of these behaviors are natural, such as walking or eating, while others may be artificial, such as cutting, screwing, writing, typing, cycling, driving, smoking, ...
We can divide them into two categories:
•In-line action folds: where the folding is perpendicular to the member (fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, ...). They produce less damage because they correspond to the pre-existing horizontal-vertical grid.
•Angled action folds: where the folding is not perpendicular to the member (legs, shoulders, hands, ...). They are very damaging, because the skin is not made to be folded that way. Their path crosses repeatedly the horizontal-vertical grid and has to fight its pull.

Angled walking folds at waist

Angled walking folds

Many movements that generate action folds also include some rotation.
Some simple moves, such as cutting with scissors, are very bad on your skin, because they are repeated continuously and that their action isn't in-line.


Expression dependent folds

The facial nerve, one of twelve cranial nerves, is in charge of facial expressions and taste.
Facial muscles are under its control and convey your emotional state.
This is the most natural and effective way to communicate.
Since it never has been groomed, your face is like a record of all those smiles and worries.
The expressions you hold most often become etched into your skin mostly in the mouth, eye and eyebrow areas.

Various eyebrows

The shape of your eyebrows
is like a record of your life

The action of your facial muscles is hampered by all your folds and this limits your expressivity.
Your face is supposed to be a blank screen on which your emotions can be projected without interference from your past.


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