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Real beauties and beasts (Part I of II)

Real beauties and beasts (Part I of II)

How do you quantify beauty? Excellent question, and one humanity has wrestled with since way before Christie Brinkley or Beyonce for that matter. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it’s true. But what we also know is true is different societies, countries, cultures, etc. all define beauty in their own unique way. There are of course similarities, where top models worldwide typically share common attributes. One could argue these attributes have been pushed down our throats and for that reason we accept them as the true standards of beauty. Perhaps, but there isn’t much we can do about that. Yet, what if we told you there is a formula, a scientific method to measure beauty and arrive at an unbiased result, regardless of where you’re from.

During the golden days of the European Renaissance, architects and artists employed what was known as the “golden ratio,” an equation to map out their works of art. As time went on scientists from a range of disciplines experimented with this ratio, and eventually a critical mass joined together to solve the aforementioned question – how do you quantify beauty? An assistant professor of biostatistics, Dr. Kendra Schmid, was one of the first to employ the ratio plus 29 other measurements to study the sex appeal of one’s face.

The ideal face, Ms. Schmid found, was a face that is 1½ times longer than it is wide. Schmid employed a simple 1 to 10 scoring spectrum and most folks according to the doctor scored between 4 and 6. In fact, during all her time studying beauty, nobody has ever scored a perfect 10. Now, critics are quick to point out that these numerical scores are based on what another human being has determined to be the perfect score (10) of beauty. Again, arbitrary, but a symbol of beauty, to be fair, sourced over the opinions of beauty around the world. Now, we’re in the model world here, and this after all is an auto blog. Here comes the connection!

CarWow is a U.K. auto site, dedicated to buying, selling and reviewing cars. The team across the pond was interested in applying the golden ratio to cars, in an attempt to determine the best and worst looking cars. A rather ambitious undertaking and one that was certainly not free of detractors. Some first thoughts – “these Brits are nuts!” Cars are pieces of machinery. Yes, some catch the eye more than others. But attractive? CarWow was ready for the backlash, and adeptly countered that the application of the golden ratio is geared around measuring the attractiveness of geometric shapes. Cars, like any structure or thing, are made of geometric shapes. Beauty is still subjective, but there are shapes that have more appeal than others, and those were the ones CarWow was interested in.   

Stay with us, Part II will knock your socks off!

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