Thursday, February 10, 2011

International Beauty Contestants of Blended Photographs

Image Source (via iSteve)

What if they gave an international beauty contest and the only ones showing up were blended photographs from each country? Who would win?
Describing someone as average-looking is rarely seen as a compliment. But most of us would be quite happy to look like a computer-generated depiction of the 'average' English woman, Welsh woman, or even the average Burmese. More than 100 women of 41 different nationalities and ethnicities were photographed in cities all over the world in an effort to find common regional features.

The photos were carefully laid over each-other using a computer program to create an individual image for each area - and the biggest surprise is that the 'common' faces are all quite beautiful. There are, of course, regional differences in face shapes, colours and features.
Peruvians and Iranians have bigger mouths, Ethiopians and Samoans have curlier hair, and fringes seem to be big in Latvia and Poland.

South African Photographer Mike Mike - who inspired the images with a web project called The Face of Tomorrow compiling the faces of various cities - explains: 'Blonde hair gets lost pretty quickly when you start averaging. 'You'd need a population 75 per cent blonde to get it visibly remaining. You'd probably have to go to Iceland for that result.' Mike, who lives in Istanbul, travels the world taking photos of the first 100 people he can persuade to pose in each place - noting their nationality every time. _DailyMail
He got the idea for his website while studying at Goldsmiths College, London.

"Sitting on the Underground train, I was intrigued by the sheer diversity of the place - Somalis, Indians, Americans, Zimbabweans, Scandinavians...," he said.

"I thought 'What is this place? What is a Londoner?' The patterns I see are an underlying connectedness between all people," Mike added. _BritainNews

Al Fin is most drawn to the Polish, Puerto Rican, and Peruvian faces, although several of the other blends are startlingly attractive as well. Obviously these blended-photos are not actually representative of most of the countries represented, just as beauty contestants in a beauty meet are not representative of their own home populations.

A lot of lessons on statistics and epidemiology could be taught, using these blended photos. In fact, most male students would prefer such an approach, I believe.

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