Normalized Hotness

So, what do you get if you combine 16 celebrity women known for the beauty using image morphing software? Someone decided to find out and the results are interesting.

Normalized Hotness
Normalized Hotness – Beautiful Result, But A Bit Disturbing
(Click To Enlarge)

There’s no denying that the result of 5 iterations of feature normalization through image morphing display a classically beautiful woman’s face. In point of fact, the resulting construct would, in the Western World, be considered quite hot.

Normalized Beauty ResultFor reason I can’t satisfactorily explain though, even to myself, I find it more than a little disturbing at a visceral level.

Perhaps it’s as simple as it being a purely artificial construct that mimics an ideal set of features based upon proportion and symmetry.

Perhaps it’s the fact that, even after so much combination and normalization, I can recognize the the “1st generation” features in it, which indicates that there’s only really a small variance in the details of what we consider beautiful.

I’d be interested in anyone’s thoughts on this, especially since, with modern cosmetic surgery and the geometric progression were making with gene therapy, this could be the “look” of the future.

Related Reading:

The Celebrity
Beauty
Women & Power: A Manifesto
Information Technology for Management: Digital Strategies for Insight, Action, and Sustainable Performance
Women: A Novel

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4 Responses to “Normalized Hotness”

  1. 1minion Says:

    Careful how you use the word “we” in this. True, we as a culture will generally look at these celebs and call them beautiful but how much of it has to do with actual appeal of these qualities and how much of it has to do with a society that’s driven us into a media realm where only these qualities are allowed to be admired publicly? Why these physical traits and not rounder faces, or wider hips or darker skin or more slanted eyes?

    There was an appalling article I’d run across recently about a heavyset teen who had a front row ticket for American Idol and was excited to sit in the audience with her friends. The show runners refused to accept her ticket and made her sit far up and away from the cameras. She was deemed too fat to be seen on television.

    http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2011/04/exclusive-dad-%E2%80%98too-fat%E2%80%99-american-idol-super-fan-she-wants-a-live-apology

    It doesn’t matter how or why she’s larger than “average” and it’s ridiculous to boil it down to a point where her own damn father is apologizing for her size and trying to explain it medically. Cripes, who gives a crap why she’s fat? Why wasn’t she allowed to sit in her ticket seat? Because we’ve built a society that wants to malign anyone who doesn’t “fit” instead of accepting a wider range of acceptable definitions for beauty.

    I think that was more than two cents… Anyway, yes, I think it’s unfortunate that beauty winds up boiled down to a bunch of famous women who look alike enough to be practically interchangeable. No wonder women and girls torment themselves with body image issues.

  2. jonolan Says:

    Science tells us that beauty is directly related to perceived health and, in the case of women, perceived fertility, but society – more accurately the media – tells us what the indicators of health and fertility are. Hence, it’s not really an XOR proposition, 1minion.

    As for the rest – we could easily between the two of us create an echo chamber between us on this topic. We seem to be largely in agreement upon it.

    Thanks for stopping in.

  3. Josh Brandt Says:

    In my mind there is a difference between being attractive and being beautiful. There are plenty of girls that have desirable features about their face or body that can be attractive, but I can’t see a girl being beautiful without a spirit to match it. For instance the girls in my school that guys see as beautiful I can’t say the same for because generally their attitude and character don’t match it. For myself a women has to have a kind spirit, a compassionate heart, a fun-loving attitude, maturity, and some sort of gift that they’re willing to share. Personally, I love a girl who can sing and write poetry, and luckily I found one. Maybe it’s just my more romantic nature, but I can’t call that image beautiful.

  4. jonolan Says:

    Josh,

    We have, between the two of us, an odd reversal of semantics. I too believe that “there is a difference between being attractive and being beautiful” but I equate attractive with desirability and beauty with mere visual characteristics.

    So I can call that image beautiful, though I couldn’t call it attractive.

    That’s often the case though with females – I have hard time calling them women – who’ve given themselves over to pure display and little or substance. They’ve made themselves objects and I don;t find that attractive.

    Frankly, truth be told, I’ve met some of the celebrities used in this experiment and none of them impressed me favorably or were truly attractive to me.

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