Here are my 2 images somewhat at the extremes. On the left is an image with a 24mm lens and on the right a 300mm lens. The cameras were mounted on a tripod with the subject only moving slightly as can be seen from the angle of the subject’s shoulders.
The closeness of a wide-angle lens to the subject introduces facial distortion (and chest too but this is harder to see), in so much as the features bulge towards the viewer. Secondly the space between the subject and the back ground has opened up and appears further away than it actually is. This is not a nice use of a wide angle lens and does not provide a life-like portrait.
In the second image the lighting has changed due to the angle of the sun (and the fun I had with my Dad), but this is a more natural shot and more pleasing on the eye. The subject appears to confirm to normal perspective rules and looks more like you would expect. The background has been brought closer to the subject due to the longer lens closing down the space.
Each shot takes on a different meaning, with the longer lens confirming more of what you would class as aesthetically pleasing for a portrait. The wider angled lens does let you place the subject more easily as the background has been opened up, but this isn’t a look I would generally want with a serious portrait. Although it may get a viewer to spend more time looking at the image as it would be unusual and the background may hold some interest for the viewer.