Sunday, October 24, 2010

The mathematics of beauty

I have always been fascinated with beauty, both in objects and in people.  When I was studying Psychology in college I took a course on child development.   I was amazed to learn that babies will look longer on an adult face that is attractive, and mothers will pay more attention to a beautiful baby.  Without a doubt beauty is captivating and entrancing, mesmerizing the on looker.  One may of course argue that there is more to beauty than just physical features.  We have all known an attractive person who becomes less attractive when their looks become over shadowed by a mean personality, or vice-versa where a person became more attractive due to their personality. I think flaws can be beautiful, and look more attractive then the “perfect features” of too much plastic surgery.  And beauty can be so subjective based on preferences.  However, you may be surprised to know that there is an actual science to beauty. It is called the Golden Ration, and it’s based on a mathematical equation. The Golden Ratio equates to a formula that can be found in any object from the human face and body, to architecture, to nature. We are instinctively drawn to the Golden Ratio because it is soothing to the eyes.

You can measure your own face to find out how close you come to perfection.

You can measure your features at home with a measuring tape. Measure the length and width of your face, then divide the length by the width.  The ideal result as defined by the Golden Ratio will give you an outcome of around 1.6.
Next measure your face in three segments: hair line to the spot between the eyes, from between the eyes to the bottom of your nose, and from the bottom of your nose to the bottom of your chin.  If all of the numbers are equal the face is considered beautiful.
Lastly, the Golden Ratio defines a beautiful face if the length of the ear is the same length as the nose, and if the length of each eye is the same as the length between the eyes.

The Golden Ratio is a mathematic equation that represents symmetry that the human eye finds attractive and soothing, and appeals to our biological mechanism to finding a suitable mate with which to reproduce.  However, the human spirit is much more complex and cannot be measured with a scientific formula. A beautiful face might be nice to look at, but does not guarantee a happy and loving union.  It is ultimately the soul, ones true self, which shines brightly. And that is the most beautiful thing of all. 


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