A new project has created an unexpectingtly beguiling reflection of what Mrs Average face looks like out of 41 chosen nations. Nevertheless the project first released in 2011 has once again drawn debate as to the accuracy and meaning of the study.
Compiled by overlaying portraits of women’s faces over each other, psychologists at the University of Glasgow (using the technology derived via FaceResearch.org) released their experiment in the hopes of shedding what the average women given nationality and particular ethnicity would look like.
The UK’s dailymail tells how the project used a modern technique , called ‘composite portraiture,’ which anthropologist Sir Francis Galton first pioneered in the late 19th century, whereby multiple images were carefully laid over one another using computer technology.
Using the eyes of the women as a focus, it then worked out the average look of each woman from every region but analysing their faces.
Nevertheless, the results have attracted controversy – with some saying the results do not reflect reality especially as the ‘common’ faces are all beautiful.
While many agree that it does make sense the women are all pretty – because averages rule out blemishes – many are perplexed that the women all seem to be in her early twenties – not the average age of any nationality.
Psychologists behind the project say that many of the criticisms are explained by the process.
Instead of having a lot of blurry images with undefined features, they say the method averages the shape of the features before blending the images together.
Some anomalies can be explained by how the pictures were compiled. The prevalence of mousy hair is a result of blondeness being easily ‘diluted’.
Other results also suggest that the study has a few imperfections.
The project nonetheless has caused some to wonder how accurately scientists are well able to document what one would deem to be the average face when it comes to analyzing segment population dichotomies where lumping said individuals into one sample size may not realistically reflect the real word dialectics of that area.
Point in case the average South African, for example, theoretically should not be pale-skinned as only 9.2 per cent of the population define themselves as white. Other examples would also include what Mrs Australia would look like today notwithstanding that nation’s population make up these days has more than ever changed in the last decades given its wide immigration from all over the world.
The project is said to have been inspired by the work of South African photographer Mike Mike – who created a web project several years ago called The Face of Tomorrow.
Having studied at Australia’s Sydney University, the photographer went on to answer the following when asked what inspired his project:
Mr Mike said he got the idea when in sitting on a London train and being intrigued by the sheer diversity of the people in the city.
“’I thought if one could merge all the people in a place like London one would be looking at the future of that place – one would have some notion of what a Londoner is or will become.”
And for those of you wondering why so many average faces are represented as prettier and desirable there was this reflection too:
It’s long been known that “average” faces are deemed prettier. There have been a lot of studies where many faces are composited and rated higher on attractiveness scales than real faces. There are a few theories about why this is the case. Maybe average faces are easier for the brain to process. Or maybe average faces reflect a larger gene pool and therefore indicate the person will be better able to fight off disease.