Beauty is a mathematical formula. And other lies.

Beauty in Seattle on 12 Jul 2006 at 12:00am

Math equation for beautyLike we needed scientists to work on the creation of software that measures someone's beauty based on a mathematical formula.

"Beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder. It is just a mathematical formula" was the conclusion of computer scientist Gideon Dror of the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo.

He concludes that perfection is a woman with blonde hair, "clear skin, larger-than-average eyes and lush lips closer to the chin than average".

Dan Fishel grabs the bait and writes in Forbes that this "digital plastic surgery" software may make its way into cameras and photoshop. I'm just wondering if Dan fell for a prank. This can't be real.

See: Look Prettier Now, Forbes {requires registration}

plastic surgery before and afters

Comments (4)

Perhaps you should do your research before you post articles like this. I am a female myself, and I would rate myself no higher than a 6 or a 7, so I like to consider myself to be unbiased. I also a biology major with a minor in psychology. Two things are undeniable about "beauty," or rather, what is found to be "physically attractive": 1) It absolutely has everything to do with evolutionary psychology. Traits that signal good health and fitness point to a more fertile woman. Traits like that include symmetrical facial features. 2) The overwhelming majority of men do find women attractive when they meet a very mathematical set of critera, whether they realize it or not. The width of the eyes should be 3/10 the width of the face. The length of the chin should be 1/5 the height of the face. The distance between the center of the eye and the bottom of the eyebrow should be 1/10 the height of the face. The visible eyeball should be 1/14 the height of the face. The total area of the nose should be less than 5% the total area of the face. The mouth should be 1/2 the width of the face. These and other traits were said to be "ideal" and even a slight variation from them resulted the face being rated as "less attractive." This is a legitimate study done at The Univerity of Louisiana, if you prefer to look into it more. So I will agree with you on this: some computer keep cranking out a program probably doesn't know what he's talking about. He's also not worth you getting upset over. The idea he is basing this off of is true and undeniable. Stop with these sappy self-image websites that pretend like attraction to prototypical features doesn't exist. It does. Most of all don't have all those features, but it doesn't mean you can deny science just to feel good about yourself. And it doesn't mean you have to feel bad about yourself either. Studies also show that men will be more drawn to women of their own level of social desirability. Also, plenty of men, although not the majority, were less attracted to the prototypical "equation" of beauty and went more towards unique traits. In a study, there is always standard deviation. And just because the pretty girls are rated consistently to be the pretty girls, doesn't mean the rest of us will be sad and alone forever.
It's a true story covered also outside the U.S. The magazine publishes a photo that demonstrates the work of the algorithm on Sandra Barnhard's photo, it doesn't appear in the web version of the story. I would assume that it is not that easy to full Forbes...

The way it's being positioned now is GROSS but, there is a "mathematical" formula that represents the measurements of what the human eye perceives as beautiful... I wrote an article on it once. Here's the gist:


"The ancient Greeks discovered that the key to beauty is about symmetry and even devised a simple formula for which proportions are perceived as most appealing to the human psyche. This precise mathematical equation (for all you geometry buffs it’s 1:1.618) became known as the golden ratio or the divine proportion and still holds true today.


Through the centuries, artists from all walks have incorporated these “ideal” proportions into their works. If you were to look closely at Michelangelo’s David, for example, you’d notice that his face is evenly divided into thirds. The upper third starts at the eyes and goes up to the hairline, the middle third goes from the eyes down to the base of the nose and the lower third from the nose to the chin. Likewise, Leonardo Da Vinci’s famed Mona Lisa’s ear is as long as her nose and the space between her eyes is precisely the size of one eye."


I read the article too and thought what a joke. But like you, I then got worried. Maybe this is a sign of the times. For the sake of our society I hope not.