A computer program produces the image of an ideal you


“Irregular beauty is real beauty,” said Dr Banner, adding that such attempts to measure beauty are culturally motivated by similarity, making everyone look the same.

For centuries, philosophers and scientists have attempted to define a universal ideal of beauty. St. Augustine said beauty is synonymous with geometric shape and balance, according to Nancy Etcoff, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of “Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty.” Aristotle defined beauty, in part, as “order, symmetry and precision”.

Artists and architects since the Renaissance ?? and more recently, plastic surgeons ?? tried to quantify beauty using the golden ratio theory, which holds that there is an ideal relationship between two measures that can be expressed as a mathematical constant. Da Vinci, Dalí and Mondrian would all have used the golden ratio in their art.

“The first reaction we’ll have to faces will be based on facial symmetry, health, average,” said Alexander Nehamas, philosopher and professor of humanities and comparative literature at Princeton, who has written on beauty. “But we never see a face like that in real life. We see faces in relation to people expressing emotions and ideas, all of these aspects of the face are essential in deciding whether a face or a person is beautiful.

He added: “Lauren Hutton’s face is asymmetrical. One eye is below the other, its teeth have space. But it’s not just her face, it’s all about her.

Mr Leyvand suggested there were practical applications for his software, including advertisements, movies, and animation. He also said he heard from plastic surgeons interested in the software. It did not surprise those who have studied the history of beauty.

“We’ve always had a huge industry to make people look better,” Dr. Etcoff said. “Everyone wants to be more beautiful. And we keep going further and further with all these images that have been tampered with. There’s a whole generation of girls growing up who think it’s okay not to look like what they really are.


Gordon K. Morehouse