General Question

woodcutter's avatar

What makes people attractive specifically faces?

Asked by woodcutter (16294points) October 26th, 2010

Other than surgery, what is it that makes people come to a consensus that a certain person is good looking? What do photographers look for when they choose a subject? I’m going out on a limb by thinking people get their foot in the door in show business or advertising spots for their looks. The majority of all in these trades are what we might describe as handsome or pretty. (except Shelly Douval, not especially good looking). It just seems universal what attractiveness is supposed to look like. What features cause people to be photogenic?

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17 Answers

Nullo's avatar

Symmetry and regularity are a big deal, as is even spacing. Strong features in males, soft features in females. Even coloring.

woodcutter's avatar

I’m thinking along the lines of people in their natural state, “in the rough”. With enough make up anyone almost can be attractive. I will see a picture of a woman that isn’t famous or anything special but for some reason she took a great picture. The photographer must have also seen some certain feature for him or her to do the picture too, like that “Afghan girl” on the Nat Geo cover. With her it was those eyes so in that instance it was obvious what got the photog’s attention.

Plucky's avatar

As @Nullo said….definately symmetry. Wiki gives a brief description of it here.

poisonedantidote's avatar

There is an equation for beauty known as the golden ratio, or as @Nullo said, symmetry. It does go a little deeper than that though. its also looking bland and generic.

There was an experiment done quite some time ago, where photos of criminals where overlapped and morphed in to one person, to try and make the “ultimate face of evil”. but it ended up making the person attractive because they where more generic looking, and more symetric.

Jude's avatar

^^ Yup. And I know a jelly (a wee faery) whose face is symmetrical and she has gorgeous features to boot. She’s a beauty.

Nullo's avatar

@poisonedantidote Someone took the last half of that study and ran with it.

CMaz's avatar

A positive and confident attitude, will also promote beauty.
That you might have not noticed.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Oh, and DIMPLES are gorgeous!

Aster's avatar


Drewseph's avatar

I’ve noticed that people with the most symmetry are usually minorities…

woodcutter's avatar

this symmetry must have an instinctive quality as even back when people lived under rocks the menfolk of the day would beat the hell out of each other to claim the female they all thought was the best looking of the clan. Even back then eye candy was out there?

Drewseph's avatar

I think Asians are the most symmetrical race.

woodcutter's avatar

I have seen several great looking women who looked to have one ear different, slightly. Or more freckles on one side of their face.Being symmetrical can’t hurt but I don’t think it qualifies as a magic standard.

dwisecbus's avatar

eyes are always a huge attraction

woodcutter's avatar

@dwisecbus yes the eyes have it. One time I saw a woman who’s eye color was so dark it made her eyes look like one big black dot. I had no way to know if these were contacts or real but they gave me the willies.

Earthgirl's avatar

Of course we say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but as most people have said here, symmetry has a lot to do with it. In modeling the bone structure is also important. People that are photogenic tend to have strong cheekbones. Another thing common with models is that they tend to have large, almond-shaped eyes which turn up slightly at the corner, like cat’s eyes. I started to work with models in the photo studio a few years ago and I was surprised how often I would choose a model for a shoot based on her portfolio and when she would come to the studio she would look just ordinary, attractive, but not spectacular. Once made up and having had her hair done she would look like another person, “drop dead gorgeous ”. Now, I know there are alot of people who say they dislike makeup and no one likes an extremely overdone look but even “natural” beauties need help to look like they do in fashion magazines. Also I have had the experience, even with children, in photo shoots, where they look so beautiful to the eye in person (or cute) but just are NOT photogenic.

I know the photo of the afghan girl with the beautiful green eyes. She was a natural beauty no doubt about it. What was also beautiful was something unguarded and soulful in her expression.

Have you ever noticed that when you love someone they become beautiful in your eyes? You can still see all of their “flaws” but because it is part of who they are it starts to have its own kind of beauty.

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