Sunday, June 10, 2007

Speaking of standards of beauty...

I saw this video over at Shakesville. It morphs "500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art."

In the comments section at Litbrit's post, some found the video awe inspiring and others found it creepy -- especially that for the first couple of centuries, it seemed like the women all had the same face (the noses seem to be identical through the entire video).

Now there does seem to be a universal female beauty ideal and it does correspond to what is in essence a baby-like face: large eyes, small nose and chin, pouty mouth. Similarly there's also an ideal female body type. It mostly has to do with proportion of hips to waist: Twiggy and Marilyn Monroe -- while very different in weight -- both had the same hip to waist ratio.

Now I could get all scientific on your ass and quote all kinds of theories on beauty: how babies are all kind of cute because people are more likely to love /like cute things (and therefore more likely to care for them); or that a smaller chin on a woman indicates a higher level of estrogen; that the waist to hips ratio may also tie into signals that the woman is better built to bear children; how both people and butterflies have a marked preference for symmetry when choosing a partner and how symmetry may be an indication of good health; etc., but that's just how my mind works when I view a video like this.

What do you think of it?


  1. Between each transition, I see 10 more beautiful women.

  2. Besides the fact that they're all (except one drawing) Caucasian and young I don't think they all look alike. I saw a lot of variation. Although most of them were in the same style, so I understand that there are definitely similarities. I thought it was quite a nice slide show.