Saturday, September 1, 2012

Beauty Myths


The Golden Ratio

In an attempt to define beauty Maggie Bullock of Elle highlights the golden ratio an it's significance to Tommer Leyvand's work in her article, Tech Support:

“Beauty is easy enough to spot, but tricky to define—despite countless attempts to do so. Sometime around 300 B.C., the Greek mathematician Euclid identified the "Golden Proportion," an ideal face two-thirds as wide as it is tall, with a nose no longer than the distance between the eyes. In the 1930s, Max Factor launched his Beauty Micro-meter, a Hellraiser-esque studded cage that measured every inch of a starlet's head to determine where she needed the makeup maestro's signature sleight of hand most. And in 1997, a retired California plastic surgeon introduced the Marquardt Mask, a robotic-looking web of lines that dissects faces using the ratio of 1 to 1.618, or phi. Identified in ancient Greece, this magical mystery ratio somehow governs the proportions of everything from human embryos to azalea buds… 

Still, theories are one thing; results are another. And Tommer Leyvand may be the first person who has promised to deliver the goods (two-dimensionally, at least). A soft-spoken, Seattle-based computer scientist, Leyvand develops geographical mapping programs for a well-known software brand by day and perfects faces—strictly by special request—by night… Developed during his graduate studies at Tel Aviv University in Israel, Leyvand's software is based on a study in which 100 photos of women and men were given attractiveness ratings between one and six. The size of and distance between the features of each face were measured and correlated for which scored well and which didn't. The resulting beauty scale enables Leyvand's program to morph any face toward a higher attractiveness rating.

One hundred subjects may not seem like that many when it comes to calculating something as ephemeral as true beauty, but Leyvand contends that attractiveness ratings are, in fact, universal—that the same numbers would hold true in any country or race, barring a region's specific cultural preferences for eye and hair color (which, interestingly, he says weigh more heavily upon our perception of someone's attractiveness than skin tone). "Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder," Leyvand says. "If I took the same photo and showed it to people from 10 different regions with 10 different backgrounds, I would get roughly the same results…" (April 14, 2008)

Despite, Leyvand's results, beauty does not involve technical support; it is impossible for any program/ software to "morph" someone's beauty when beauty is a natural occurrence that encompasses the spirit. It seems both Bullock and Leyvand need to take a lesson from Aubrey Hepburn — "The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul." 

Illustration by Shannon May 


  1. Great blog post Carmen. I like the quote from the legendary actress Audrey Hepburn.

    1. Thanks Cynthia. This is one my favorite Hepburn quotes.

  2. every woman is beautiful in her own way! :)

  3. I like the informative posts you upload lately. It's necessary and nice to know some things about beauty, fashion and so on from another aspect.

    I couldn't agree more with Audrey Hepburn. I really feel that beauty is a unique thing and can be found in everyone.

    Have a beautiful week, girl!

    1. Thanks Angelina; I really do appreciate it.

    2. wow your blog is really different darling, great work on this post especially! i remember the golden ratio of art history lessons i had back when i was younger;)
      so you got yourself a new follower!

    3. Thanks Mary! I am now following you, too.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...