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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Features of a Beautiful Face

While I'm still thinking about what to put into my next makeover post, I decided to put a quick summary of features of a beautiful face.  It's a leisure study subject of mine and I thought I'd share a bit of the high level (not detailed info) that might help you in your quest for avatar beauty.  It's also good background material for a few of my planned makeover posts (next will be an "Eyes or Lips not both" post -- which is also a bit of an opinion piece on why I think SL fashion and beauty in general is mired in past 80s and 90s ideals that the puffy shirts will pass off as elite fashion standards).

Features of a Beautiful Face (I took the list below from http://thebeautifulface.com/features-of-the-beautiful-face a good article to read that is consistent with my studies)

Doctors (PHD and medical types) have determined that the features that command the most attention are, in order:

1. Eyes
2. Brow
3. Cheeks
4. Lips
5. Nose
6. Chin and Jawline
7. Neck

And features that don't really get noticed unless there's something weird about them:

1. Forehead
2. Ears

Features that enhance attractiveness of a beautiful face:

1. Hair
2. Skin
3. Teeth

In Second Life terms this means your shape is very important, and you can augment the shape with changing things like the eye colours, the brow, and cosmetic prims (eyelashes) and makeup layers (blush, lip makeup).  Unique to virtual worlds you can also change hair (colour and shape instantly) and skin (my two addictions).

Mastering the skill of getting a good shape or tweaking your own custom shape is something all models should have.  At the very least you should be able to modify your shape and this is something that we ask on day 1 at our University of CWS.

The problem with Second Life is that you are pretty much stuck in one facial expression, while beauty is captured dynamics.  Learn to tweak things a bit as suits your modelling themes and needs.

If you need to brush up on this skill, read this excellent blog by Robin (post http://robin-makingstuff.blogspot.ca/2011/10/making-your-own-shape.html?zx=686894c7e0b70890)

As a hobby I study the pursuit of beauty and aesthetic ideals.  While "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" most studies have found these traits common in attractive people:

Shania Twain is supposed to be very close to the ideal proportions for the perfect face

Ugly Betty from an old tv show

Female:
* suntanned skin (for Western tastes, Asian tastes prefer pale)
* narrower facial shape
* less fat
* full lips (for Western tastes, Asians like thinner lips and delicate features)
* slighter bigger distance of the eyes
* darker, narrower eye brows (oh note: modern runway models have a different brow ideal than classical 20th century ones)
* more, longer and darker lashes
* higher cheek bones
* narrower nose
* no eye rings
* thin eye lids (for Western tastes, Asians like the double eye lid aka epicanthic fold)

Brad Pitt's face scored 9.3 out of 10 in measuring ideal male beauty scientifically ( http://www.oprah.com/relationships/The-Science-of-Sex-Appeal/6)

umm... well he's ugly under that mask!  Even his son ran from him at first sight.     

Male
* browner skin
* narrower facial structure
* less fat
* fuller and more symmetrical lips
* darker eye brows
* more and darker lashes
* upper half of the face broader in relation to the lower
* higher cheek bones
* prominent lower jaw
* more prominent chin
* no receding brows
* thinner lids
* no wrinkles between the nose and corner of the mouth

(see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16547625 for a research pub of the differences in Western and Asian facial aesthetics)

So after you've played with your shape and face a bit, do you want to test your closeness to the ideal?  Take a snapshot of your avatar's face and go to this website http://www.anaface.com/.

Remember though that a lot of people think being too perfect is also forgettable, so you can try to skew some of your shapes purposefully away from the ideal.   A slightly wider nose for instance, or a more round face than oval (round faces are actually one of the most common model shapes -- round faces look more youthful).  I did/do that in my shape so I won't be scoring a 10 in the perfection test lol.

Have fun!