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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pretty Face

I like pretty girls as much as the next guy and I am pretty sure I am stuck with that bias, unless I wanted to subject myself to some kind of horrendous "aversion therapy", ala A Clockwork Orange. It's really kind of a weird thing. I mean, what makes a woman's face pretty? One thing we hear from the whiz kids who study this kind of thing is that pretty faces are symmetrical, or symmetrical faces are attractive, but I don't think that really covers it. I mean an ape's face could be perfectly symetrical, but if it was on a human woman would you call her pretty? Well, you might call her that just to be polite, but I don't think you would think it.
    Another idea I heard is that a beautiful face is just the average of all women's faces, and I can see how that might be. Often when you hear criticism of a woman's face it's that it's too something: too long, too thin, too wide, too pointed, too flat. So maybe what we're looking for is, like Goldilocks, the one that is "just right".
    I remember going to Buster's Barbecue for lunch a couple of years ago and there was one very beautiful woman eating lunch there. I had a very hard time not staring at her, but I managed. The one glance I got (OK, maybe it was two or three) has stuck with me all this time. I don't even know if she was really that pretty, I was never closer than maybe 20 feet from her. The picture was well framed with perfectly coiffed hair, nice clothes and jewelry, and ladylike manners, but it only took an instant for her to absolutely shock my system. I mean, I still remember the incident and it was years ago. Of course, you hardly ever find women in Buster's, and it's a rare event indeed to find a good looking one there. But still.
     And I still don't understand what the criteria is for "just right". High cheekbones mean better protection for the eyes, but a wider or narrower nose? More or less arched eyebrows? A narrower or broader chin or forehead? Being of a scientific bent, I want to think that in ancient times some of these properties made survival more likely, but I can't see how.
    Maybe it's something else. Maybe people who looked a certain way did some great things and people remembered that and that memory has become part of our genetic heritage. Or maybe this is just the way God (or the aliens) made us. It's still a mystery.

Prompted by a link to The Daily Dot from Dustbury.

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