A Beautiful Face – According to scientists

beautiful-face-according-to-scientistsToday it is possible to use sophisticated software to produce images of faces so realistic that you can’t tell them from photographs of real people. A group of German researchers has taken advantage of this to investigate the precise features that make a face attractive or unattractive.

You can read their work in full on their rather brilliant website beautycheck.

The details of how they go about this are very interesting and would probably justify an article in their own right but for now lets just take a look at their results.

These represent their idea of what constitutes a beautiful female and an unattractive one.

A plain face

A plain face

A beautiful face

A beautiful face

I have to say first off that I don’t find the supposedly unattractive one all that unattractive. I would certainly consider casting her in the role of the initially unattractive girl who is turned into a bombshell at the end of the film like Sandy in Grease. (You know the drill, they start off all shy with a pony tail and big glasses and end up with some make up and more glamourous clothing.)

The characteristics of a beautiful female face according to their research is

– not much fat
– full lips
– dark, narrow eyebrows
– abundant, long and dark eye lashes
– high cheek bones
– narrow nose
– no eye rings

I imagine that most women are thinking that they knew most of this already and that their make up bag is already full of gear to try and improve most of these factors.

Most people already realise that chubby faces don’t appeal as much as thin ones.

Full lips are always popular. If I knew an effective non-surgical way of plumping up lips I would be a rich man by now. Equally, nobody has ever asked me to make their eyebrows bigger. Women, and some men, spend many many hours of their lives making their eye lashes look more prominent.

The high cheek bones and narrow nose are perhaps a little less obvious, but still hardly a surprise.

There are a couple of interesting points. In some other research (note to self – find reference and post it) it was found that the single biggest factor in determining what gender a face is, is the shape of the eyebrows. I was instantly reminded of the line Walk on the Wild side where one of the characters heading to New York to become a transvestite ‘shaved his eyebrows on the way’. It seems that transvestites have already worked this one out.

This work was done by Germans who have been good enough to report it in English, but I can’t help wonder if there is something lost in the translation on the last item. I am not sure what they mean by eye-rings.

I am sure that this is not the last word on attractiveness.

Here is what they found out about what makes a handsome male face.

5 thoughts on “A Beautiful Face – According to scientists

  1. Brutha

    As a German I would think that eye rings mean the dark bluish “Augenringe” (“Augen” translates as “eyes” while “Ringe” translates as “rings”) that you have under your eyes when you haven’t had enough sleep.
    According to leo.org it would be “circumorbital rings” or “dark circles around the eyes” in English.

  2. Colin Post author

    Thanks for the comment Brutha – its great to get an international perspective.

  3. rozy

    Racist. Some people have naturally thin lips, chubby cheeks, black people have naturally wider noses, delicate features, eye bags from naturally deep set eyes etc. I think the like of thin eyebrows all has to do with socialization into liking them simply because they take money to maintain and capitalists say value in that. I doubt there is an evolutionary drive against bushy eyebrows. Any of the things they said were bad can look good on someone it just depends. Look at someone with a delicate jaw and cheekbones, deep set eyes and tiny lips and tell me they do not look otherworldly.

  4. rozy

    capitalists *saw value
    This just shows me there really needs to be respect for the diversities of human features and ancestries.

  5. Aku

    It’s crazy that plain face pic looks so much like me that for a second before I took a closer look, I thought it was a picture of me. I didn’t realize I was the definition of plain till just now lol. Bummer

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