INTRODUCTION


This eLearning program includes a tool to measure and analyze female facial features to determine how close to the average they are. Average here applies to shape: the closer to average face dimensions are, the more attractive.


In evolution, facial appearance correlates with health and ability to have and raise offspring. Over time, natural selection has produced more attractive people in greater numbers. Today, we are the end result of that process.



Facial dimensions and appearance can be changed by hairstyle and makeup. The tool can help identify where these strategies can be useful.



AVERAGE=GOOD-LOOKING


While it seems counterintuitive, according to biologists and social scientists, average = good-looking. Average in this case refers to average shape. This is based on how we learn to recognize faces and meet survival needs (Symons, 1979; Koeslag, 1990; Eckoff, 1999).

At birth, prompted by the need to survive, we begin to scan our environment. We look at faces for clues about how they can help us survive. Some faces are human, some animal. Among the human, some male, some female.

Our brains organize these perceptions by building a composite image for each face category. For example, all human female face images that we've seen are laid one on top of the other, their dimensions averaged, producing this composited average.

We compare any new face that we see to this template stored in our memory. The more it resembles this average-based, composite image, the more we are attracted to it as a potential source of survival.

Childhood, day-to-day survival needs are supplemented in adulthood by long-term survival needs: assuring that our genes are carried forward by offspring. Average, attractive faces represent a potential mate's overall good health to bear and raise offspring.

As mentioned above, this eLearning program includes a tool to measure and analyze female facial features to determine how close to the average they are. Remember, average here applies to shape: the more average, the more attractive.

Earlier research hypothesized that the optimal ratio for face measures, producing average, was the golden ratio known since ancient times. One of these, a golden ratio for lip-chin distance and nose width has robust research support (Schmid, Marx & Samal, 2010).

More recent research has revised this ratio for other key measures (Pallett, Link & Lee, 2009).

The revised version determined that the distance between a horizontal line connecting the 2 eyes (interocular distance) and a horizontal line drawn across the center of the lips is 36% of the distance between hairline and chin bottom.

The distance from pupil to pupil is 46% of the distance between the inner edges of the ears (face width).

These revised measures plus the above golden ratio measure are used in this tool. Scores indicate the % of average for these 3 measures, plus an overall % of average.

Since hairline and appearance can be altered by hair style and makeup, this creates opportunities to improve upon scores.