I recently came across an OpEd about the beauty of the “average.” Scientific research on how our brains work plus some digital studies show that what we find most beautiful is the average of all of our faces. In other words, if you take pics of many different people and then find the average of all of our facials parts, we tend to find those pics vs the original pics the most beautiful.
I have to be honest, this stumped me. So many of us are attracted to the rare and unique, not the average. But scientists explain that an average face signifies a healthy mixture of genes. It makes sense. The more the species mixes, the less likely we are to pass along harmful, defective traits.
Huh, never thought of it like that.
Of course this research doesn’t bake in all of the other factors that can enhance one’s appearance: social norms, familiarity, cosmetics and personality. But that wasn’t the point. The research was merely pointing out what we find most beautiful at first glance.
I still can’t help thinking, I have no desire to look average, no matter how beautiful it is. If average is a sign of beauty, I say let’s seek out a bit ugliness from time to time too! It will surely make our lives more interesting 🙂