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Average Face is a Beautiful Face

This question is from Ms. Rhianna Han from Top Ryde. "Someone told me that the average face is a beautiful face" Is this true?

This question is from Ms. Rhianna Han from Top Ryde. "Someone told me that the average face is a beautiful face" Is this true?


In 1879, Francis Galton published an interesting article in the Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. His intention was to study 관상 to find out whether there were certain facial features that were characteristic of criminals. He did this by creating a composite image of faces by overlapping the face photographs of many criminals onto a single piece of photographic film. Thus, developed a composite image of many criminals was called “average face” of a criminal. When Galton showed the average faces to his colleagues they unanimously agreed that the composite faces tended to be more attractive than the individual face photographs from which they were manufactured (i.e. the composite face tended to be more attractive than their constituent faces). They could not find a characteristic feature of a criminal but they did find that the “average face” was more attractive than the individual faces. It is interesting to note that Francis Galton was a cousin of the legendary Charles Darwin.

About 100 years later, in 1994, Dr. Perrett published a paper in Nature where he copied Francis Galton’s results. They have taken photographs of numerous individuals and then they have averaged it by overlaying one photograph on top of each other. They have shown that the Galton’s theory, the attractive face is an average, was true. Furthermore, such averageness theory of beauty was applicable for both Asians and White population.

In 2009, Dr. Rhee from Korea University published a paper in the Journal of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery using a similar technique but applying specifically to the Koreans. Dr. Rhee obtained 19 photographs of the most successful Korean entertainers and then used the facial averageness technique to produce a composite photo. The male composite photo shows someone similar to 송승헌 and the female composite photo shows someone similar to 김태희. Perhaps that is why they are so popular in Korea!

rhee2009

In conclusion, the statement that the average face is beautiful is correct. Beauty is multi-dimensional and there are huge individual variations and characteristics. However, our brain tends to pick the “average face” to be more beautiful, preferentially at the level of subconsciousness, than the “non-average” face.

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