Regular readers of this blog know by now that beauty is a bit of a pet topic for me. I’m not talking about beauty products or haircare, I mean beauty as in “esthetically pleasing”. To summarize my ideas on it: I believe beauty is mathematical in nature, that the things we find beautiful follow certain patterns, and that it is possible to discern archetypical beauty in people, objects and events. That’s about it. Now lately I came across a series of “Celebrity Doppleganger” pictures, in which different celebrities were placed next to each other to point out similarities. I think if anything shows (if only through circumstantial evidence) that what is considered beautiful follows a pattern, it’s this… therefor I wanted to share it.
The celebrities that look alike are ordered per three from left to right, but I’m sure you can easily find similarities criss-cross through the raster as well. All these people’s claim to “beauty” is backed up by a rather large statistical sample of people who consider them beautiful.
I can’t help but see things like this and feel comforted and intrigued, yet vexed as well by the patterns that seem to surround and envelop us, but always escape my grasp when I try to put my finger on them… I know about facial symmetry and the sorts, but there seems to be more and it eludes me, much to my annoyance.
This is a great thought. I actually read a psychological study that show how people choose symmetrical features as “attractive”. (Especially on the face), When peoples faces appeared less symmetrical, the weren’t considered “as attractive” or “pleasing to the eye”. There were other preferences also…smiling, smiling eyes, etc.. I don’t remember them all.
I feel like I read somewhere that universal beauty is in symmetry and good proportions. A good waist-to-hip ratio (roughly 2/3) is beautiful across cultures.
This is also why I’m always shouting about proportions on my own blog. When they’re off, it ALWAYS looks bad.
God is the author of beauty.
You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace. Your love delights me, my treasure, my bride. Your love is better than wine, your perfume more fragrant than spices. You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain. (Song of Songs 4:7, 9, 10, 12 NLT)
Personally, my standard of beauty is rooted in the complexity of the feelings that the stimuli inspires in me. In particular things that allow me to feel multiple feelings simultaneously that are normally considered contradictory. I don’t find predictable patterns beautiful. The conventional standards of beauty are a pop song. Catchy, mass appeal, but ultimately no depth. I like a symphony, especially one with dark overtones. The Rite of Spring, Night on Bald Mountain, Peer Gynt Suite. And you have a beautiful mind.
I agree with you. When I said “patterns” I didn’t mean predictable.
Personally I believe that there is extreme beauty in things that are conventionally considered depraved, abhorrent or perverse. I don’t know why I feel that way, it just resonates with something inside me.
Maybe your music analogy isn’t that far-fetched. Maybe the perception of beauty is similar to the perception of sound… A Gaussian Bell Curve, I think it would make.
I often try to put my finger on it, explain exactly what it is that I’m thinking or trying to convey, but it never works. Just like now, I am struggling to find words that function. Language is limited…
And thank you… *blushes*
You’re very welcome. And thank you very much for sharing your thoughts.
Just wanted to add that I’ve been researching Gaussian Functions since you mentioned them. Very interesting readings. 0 (Unity) is both the beginning and the end, and in between there is measurement, comparison, relativity, life. (Not really news, but another way that I can express it to others and validate these concepts that I have floating around in my mind according to the laws of 3 dimensional physical reality.) Thank you again.
You’re welcome. The way simple mathematical ideas can express, describe and explain a plethora of things never ceases to amaze me…