These are images by photographers whose work I've pored over in public libraries.
By Don McCullin.
By David Plowden. Industrial Landscape is one of my favourite photo books, although this particular image isn't from it.
Both photos by Yousuf Karsh. He took multiple portraits of Albert Camus. In one of Mr. Karsh's books he shares personal anecdotes about his subjects. Although it wasn't during the above picture, Karsh asked Camus what he thought of the growing Arabic world (Camus was Algerian). Camus responded simply by saying that the Arabic world had a long way to go...
...Simple doesn't necessarily mean devoid of thought and intelligence.
I remember hearing a certain reason why people hold their hands to their head while posing for photos. I can't remember what it is offhand but I'm guessing it's because it makes us look more thoughtful and therefore more intelligent. I heard cosmetically it can give us a tiny 'facelift' and compliment our features...
...I'm not sure if it goes deeper than that, though.