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Facial Symmetry 1

Photo: Alex John Beck
Ancient Greeks believed beauty was represented by a “golden ratio” of 1:1.618. Mathemetician Euclid declared that ideal facial features incude the width to be two-thirds as tall as the height and a nose no longer than the distance between the eyes.

Photographer Gives Average People Perfect Faces (Well, Sort Of)


Science says that people with more symmetrical faces are perceived to be more beautiful than those with distinctive and disproportional features. So photographer Alex John Beck put the theory to the test in his series "Both Sides Of." But rather than turn to the confusing geometry, statistics, and calculations that researchers use, he employed the tools of his trade: a camera and photo manipulation software. After taking a straight-on headshot, Beck split the photo of the face in half, mirrored it, and combined the two right sides to make one photo, and the two left sides to make another. Interestingly, the results reveal two evidently different faces — one with a wide neck, the other thin; one with a gap-toothed, the other with straight teeth; one with pointy ears, the other with round ones — that are, indeed, perfectly symmetrical. "You create two different faces from one and both of them should ideally be beautiful," Beck tells Yahoo Shine. "But it’s not about if they’re beautiful or not; it’s the change." Interestingly, he left out the original portrait from the composites, in part to see if a person who knows the subject in real life recognizes one portrait and not the other. Check out some of the creations that came out of the experiment and learn a little about all the science around symmetry while you're at it. — Lauren Tuck, Shine Staff

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