Saturday, November 8, 2008

Beauty machine?


I stumbled upon this article the other day about what some are calling a new "beauty machine." Researchers at the Tel Aviv University have created software which "turns a picture of an ordinary face into that of a cover model" by just a click of a mouse.

According to Prof. Daniel Cohen Beauty, the lead researcher, "contrary to what most people think, is not simply in the eye of the beholder. With the aid of computers, attractiveness can be objectified and boiled down to a function of mathematical distances or ratios."

The professor says the main difference between this "machine" and the normal everyday photoshop programs is that that the images are more subtle, still retaining similarities to the original picture.

I guess I'm not seeing how "new" this is since the mathematical idea of aesthetics and beauty have been theorized in many different forms. The most well known is the "golden ratio" theory, though it is a bit inconclusive.

In my opinion, I don't know whether this is a good or bad thing. We already have enough problems with the implications of airbrushed and digital images as it is. Do we really need another one, even if it is subtle?

3 comments:

Charlynn said...

I agree with your conclusion. Do we really need this? Seems like just another way to show women that they can and should look like cover girls, and none of us is okay until we achieve that ideal. *sigh*

Gaining Back My Life said...

I recall reading somethng similar years ago about Queen Nefertiti. That she was the ideal proportionate beauty.

My question remains, that if we all were perfectly proportioned, would beauty even exist?

Tiptoe said...

Charlynn, I agree with you sigh. It is a frustrating aspect in this culture.

GBML, I remember reading about Nefertiti as well. Interesting question about whether beauty would exist. Hard to say for sure. I still think no matter the mathematical concept someone wants to make of it, it is still subjective.