IMHO, file the "see 'em as they REALLY are, warts and all" away for future reference.
As noted, use diffused light, if possible. And who ever wrote "expose generously and develop gently" gave good advice in my experience. For such work, do not use Rodinal. Use a "mushier" developer like straight D76.
And old trick to make any person a glamor queen (or king) was to rate Tri-X at EI 64 and underdevelop in straight Microdol.
Be sure to focus on the catch light in the eye unless you are trying to emphasize something else--like a hobby item or a tool. Use a temporary focus light, if necessary, to generate a catch light in the eye.