Researchers at the School of Psychiatry of St. Andrew’s University in Scotland made a computer drawing of a perfect man’s face thought to be irresistible to most women. The face is a composite image made up of the photographs of 12 students who consented to the use of their pictures for the benefit of science. Thirty four female students in their early twenties rated the attractiveness of each face on a scale of 1 to 7. The final composite was made by proportionally mixing features of all 12 photos.
The final composite stands out by its pronounced femininity. The modern woman does not find attractive neither facial hair nor a strong chin on a man’s face. She does not seem to like any other features traditionally associated with a “real macho man.” The study coordinator Tony Little: “An opinion poll involving females who took part in the experiment shows that women associate a slightly effeminate image of a man with such traits as willingness to help, honesty, an emotional temper and love for children. The clearly apparent masculine characteristics of appearance give the modern woman a fright these days, they seem to attract her less than in the past. At the same time, a woman would also like to see some typically male features in her chosen one because a woman still wants a man who would dominate her to some extent.”
Professor Victor Johnston at the University of New Mexico tried to build the image of an ideal woman a few years ago. He posted 16 pictures of pretty girls on his website and asked the guest users to rate every face. Around 10 thousand guest users eventually shared in. Prof. Johnston used his computer to make a composite beauty image by synthesizing the features of all 16 faces in accordance with the ratings of each picture. Then the professor posted another group of photographs and repeated the procedure. He did the same for twenty times more. Finally, he built the image of a perfect beauty using 20 synthetic portraits.
The above are largely empirical conclusions, so to speak. They do not reveal the essence of those specific characteristics that make a person look attractive in the eyes of a vast majority of experts. Researchers in the other field, mostly plastic surgeons and cosmetologists, looked into the issue. They wanted to find the answers that could be useable in their trade. For some reasons, they use women’s faces only for their research.
Stephen Metzinger, an American surgeon, did a study for the purpose of finding differences between the brows of famous models and those belonging to ordinary women. He used a hundred photographs of universally recognized beautiful women published in the glossy magazines. He also photographed the faces of a hundred ordinary females. His study shows that a typical specimen of certified beauty has the highest point of her brow’s arc rising at a distance of 98 degrees (if measured from the nose) of arc’s length. An arc of the brow of an ordinary woman sits at a distance of 93 degrees of arc’s length.
Another surgeon named Steven Hefling believes seven lines can define the beauty of a woman’s face. The slant of the lines with respect to a horizontal level makes a difference. One John Markwardt even tried to build the “beauty mask” using straight lines with different slants. According to Markwardt, the closer are the features of a woman’s face toward a network of straight lines drawn by him, the more beautiful is the face.
Translated by Guerman Grachev
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