February 12, 2011

"I wish they all could be ..."

 At 1440 Minutes Hate, Emmanuel Goldstein is making up composite portraits of college age young ladies by state from the first usable straight-on facial pictures he finds on line.

Here are Alaska, Arkansas, and California, respectively. His face recognition software package doesn't work well on blacks, so he is doing them separately. He's including whites, Hispanics, and Asians in the composites. Thus, the California girl looks very anime, very manga. That's not that surprising when you think about it, since the Japanese comic/animation industry is built on the style of the California-based Walt Disney, with characters being made to look vaguely Japanese (but with round eyes). Thus, the composite California girl looks like a horny Japanese cartoonist's fantasy of blonde sorority sisters at UCLA.

Here's his Alabama girl and Arizona girl.

He says, "I used pics from Myspace and color photos from various online college newspapers."

In general, this process has some inevitable biases built in in terms of the source photos. Girls post online flattering pictures of themselves and don't post unflattering pictures. Some of the pictures are photoshopped to look better. More attractive pictures will tend to float to the top of search engines and have more links to them on social networking sites.  This cream-rising-to-the-top of the Internet process will advantage populous states, since the first girls you find from California will be higher in percentile terms of all that state's girls than the first you find from Alaska. Thus, the frontrunners for #1 state in attractiveness in this kind of competition would likely be California v. Texas v. Florida.

Finally, the averaging process removes asymmetries and other idiosyncratic flaws.But it can't do much for weight other than to skim the cream. I haven't been to Alaska in a long time, but I was surprised a few years ago by how much chubbier Oregon college girls are than California college girls.

Beyond comparing states, there ought to be a lot of interesting things you could do with traits other than location. For example, what is the composite face of a Taylor Swift fan vs. a Lady Gaga fan among white girls 18-22? Republicans v. Democrats?

Victorian novelists used to go on and on for pages about the shape of the noses of their characters on the theory that facial types correlated with personality. This software lets you look for correlations.

Other surefire winners would be to compositize Facebook pictures from rival colleges such as USC v. UCLA, Harvard v. Yale, Smith v. Mt.  Holyoke, Notre Dame v. Miami, UC Santa Barbara v. UC Santa Cruz, Cal State Northridge v. Cal State LA, MIT v. Cal Tech, Tulane v. Vanderbilt, and so forth.

47 comments:

Alphonse said...

How about liberals vs. conservatives? Alot of people list their political views on facebook. Or better yet, far left, moderate left, center, moderate conservative, far right? I predict even larger differences in an average of men from these categories than women.

Another interesting one would be to average models/popular beauties across the decades to see what differences occur. Probably some differences in preferences of features would creep up. I would suggest Miss Americas as a source, but that seems to have become so dominated by political correctness as to be not valuable for these purposes.

Steve Sailer said...

Right, there ought to be a lot of interesting things could do with traits other than location. For example, what is the composite face of a Taylor Swift fan vs. a Lady Gaga fan among white girls 18-22?

Victorian novelists used to go on and on for pages about the shape of the nose of their characters on the theory that facial types correlated with personality. This software lets you look for correlations.

Anonymous said...

how about separate orientals hispanics and whites by state? I don't see how averaging oriental faces, which I find unattractive, with cauasian women results in a good -looking woman. it will also give a good indicator how states like california have been destroyed in more ways than one.

Anonymous said...

"Girls post online flattering pictures of themselves and don't post unflattering pictures."

Completely untrue.

I'm shocked at the pictures girls I know irl will post as their profile picture on facebook. "That's her?! She's not ugly. Why would she post that?!"

rob said...

I'm surprised how unmasculine the Alaska composite is for not being pretty. With the adult sex ratio so skewed towards men, one would expect that the most masculine men reproduce. Ceteris paribus, the daughters should be masculinized. Probably women who move to Alaska are, on average, less attractive than average. Everywhere in the US has more more single men than women for like ages 18-30 something. Women who go looking for a more extreme sex ratio probably need it. A fair fraction of Alaskans are Native, so maybe that has an effect.

Anonymous said...

Other surefire winners would be to compositize Facebook pictures from rival colleges such as USC v. UCLA, Harvard v. Yale, Smith v. Mt. Holyoke, Notre Dame v. Miami, UC Santa Barbara v. UC Santa Cruz, Cal State Northridge v. Cal State LA, MIT v. Cal Tech, Tulane v. Vanderbilt, and so forth.

Great idea. Call it Face Smash. Oh wait...

Anonymous said...

This seems like a stupid idea. Why not put weight also? Let's get a composite of a 100 pound woman and a 200 pound women. It doesn't mean anything.

Anonymous said...

Cali looks like the consensus male pick for hot girl. Alaska appears sensitive, mild, introverted, subtle, tasteful. I overwhelmingly prefer that character type, and also overwhelmingly prefer, per se, those sort of looks. Maybe there's some sort of physiognomic correlations involved in this phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

Rice vs. ????.

goatweed

OneSTDV said...

IMO, out of 3 shown, Arkansas is clearly the most attractive.

David said...

Of the 3 shown, Cali and Alaska look weak sneaky and ill. Arkansas looks a little too rawboned.

Let's face it, most Americans are ugly.

Anonymous said...

"IMO, out of 3 shown, Arkansas is clearly the most attractive."

This.

Must suck to be in Cali. No jobs, cratering housing market, and now this!

Anonymous said...

"Let's face it, most Americans are ugly."

Well, yeah, that's how beauty works. If everyone is, no one is.

Americans are, in the aggregate, absurdly more attractive than the residents of any other country, of course. Demographics help. Culture helps too, making the marriage market more Darwinian.

Anonymous said...

"Must suck to be in Cali. No jobs, cratering housing market, and now this! "

Don't know about that. Here it is in mid February, it is 75 degrees outside with clear blue skies; I see Carmel Bay from my window; the Pro-AM tournament is happening 3 miles away; and most of the young women look darn cute to me.

Still beats Buffalo most days.

Jack said...

I'd like to meet a young, upper middle class Arkansas woman.

elvisd said...

I've been creeped out by that steroidal-disney, doe-eyed anime style my whole life. Even before I knew of the "kink" in japanese culture, I found something weird and unsettling about japanese comics that I couldn't put my finger on.

Anonymous said...

Elvis, it is interesting to see how in anime..the ways they differentiate between characters, hair color, eye color, eye size, are kind of the things you don't see that much of a difference in between east Asians as you do between white populations.

robert61 said...

I also thought the Arkansas girl was most attractive. Could it be because Arkansas has less admixture of Asian and Hispanic girls? Face composites generally show that we perceive a composite face as attractive, but maybe a composite isn't as attractive if the sample population adds together different genetic clusters: e.g., the composite of Asian girls and the composite of European girls might be more attractive than a composite that includes both.

Sword said...

Ugly women moving to Alaska? Dunno about that. Sarah Palin was born in Idaho. Anyway, both she and her husband are good-looking people, but Bristol, not so much. Track Palin has inherited som of his mother´s feminine looks, which do not go so well with a soldier.

Personally, I would like to see a pair of composites:
1. Republican caucasian females who are either members of congress or governors
2. Democrat caucasian females who are either members of congress or governors

Then, afterwards, compare that to the following composite pair:
3. Republican african-american females who are either members of congress or governors, or politicians elected at state level
4. Democrat african-american females who are either members of congress or governors or politicians elected at state level

Anonymous said...

"Don't know about that. Here it is in mid February, it is 75 degrees outside with clear blue skies; I see Carmel Bay from my window; the Pro-AM tournament is happening 3 miles away; and most of the young women look darn cute to me.

Still beats Buffalo most days."

Who lives in Buffalo?

That's too hot. My brother-in-law is actually from LA, and even in the midst of blizzards and single-digits temps, he says "It's still better than LA." I myself lived in Miami for a while, and I definitely prefer the cold.

Eli said...

How about body composites instead of face composites? It would probably be exponentially harder as everything would have to line up the same in 2D space (same hand, arm positions, etc). Unless you were going to screen a slew of pictures to find exactly the right ones, you would have to develop software that "lined" up the bodies for you by subtly manipulating the pictures to "reposition" the body.

If averaging up makes them prettier, I think Playboy would buy up the software...

Anonymous said...

The California girl doesn't look anime at all.

Anonymous said...

"The California girl doesn't look anime at all."

Steve just read that on Roissy, had no idea what it meant, but decided to start using it a lot anyway. Why anyone would hero-worship that idiot is beyond me.

headache said...

"His face recognition software package doesn't work well on blacks"


It doesn't work on Germans either. That composite you had off Roissy's was a joke. In general German women are more attractive than British or Scandinavian.

Kylie said...

"Elvis, it is interesting to see how in anime..the ways they differentiate between characters, hair color, eye color, eye size, are kind of the things you don't see that much of a difference in between east Asians as you do between white populations."

That's because when modern (i.e., post-WWII) anime began, its artists, particularly Tezuka (creator of "Astro Boy") were influenced by Disney and other American cartoons. The artists then continued using the exaggerated features b/c they found them more expressive.

Wikipedia Tezuka

You learn things like this when you innocently search YouTube for the music of Arvo Pärt and end up watching a yaoi video.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the average face idea is that it assumes that men seek the most perfect face. I don't think that's how it works.

Rather I think that men have a "looks" threshold. If say the 23 year old girl looks better than some internal criteria she is considered otherwise she is discarded. In movie terms, if a guy has an "8" he doesn't dump her and seek a "9" - he just marries her and and has a lot of kids. Girls who are an "8" or above aren't old maids.

The male beauty sense seems to exclude the odd, the old, the unlovely, the chubby, and the asymmetrical. That's why all of these girls are good looking or good looking enough.

Albertosaurus

SFG said...

"Maybe there's some sort of physiognomic correlations involved in this phenomenon."

Wasn't there a study showing that males with bigger brow ridges and chins generally had more testosterone and were more aggressive, etc.?

While the Victorians probably went a bit overboard, they probably were also onto something. Kind of like Freud: penis envy and Oedipal complexes are BS, but we do actually have an unconscious.

corvinus said...

Unsurprisingly, the Arkansan looks like the Alabaman.

The Alaskan girl obviously looks part Mongoloid, even more so than the Californian girl, who actually manages to look blond.

Anonymous said...

"If say the 23 year old girl looks better than some internal criteria she is considered otherwise she is discarded. In movie terms, if a guy has an "8" he doesn't dump her and seek a "9" - he just marries her and and has a lot of kids. Girls who are an "8" or above aren't old maids."

I tend to agree & disagree with what you say Al. If a guy marries an 8 he's probably a 6 or 7 in looks himself. His level of attractiveness will somewhat match hers so unless he's Donald Trump won't be getting a chick much better looking than he is.

I also have a theory that more average looking people are more likely to settle down and marry upon finding the first or second suitable enough person; Compared to hotter & more popular people, they know their future opportunities are somewhat limited.

I'd like to see some analysis of divorce or cheating statistics that include looks, or even personality traits, btw.

"For example, what is the composite face of a Taylor Swift fan vs. a Lady Gaga fan among white girls 18-22?"

As male oriented as these posts on the average female face seem to be, there's some inspiration in them to direct future research. I for one like to fancy that I can determine certain traits by looking at a person's face. It's hard to say in hindsight b/c that person has usually said or done something I could then plug back into a facial feature. Still, I think there could be some truth to it. In terms of facial features, musculature from facial expression can affect the appearance: frown lines, worry & tension; hard lines on either side of the mouth, a tendency to hold a mocking or disdainful expression; even the eyes whether dilated or not, friendliness vs hostility.

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to discover that Lady Gaga fans or any group of females preferring an edgier type of music would have harsher (sarcastic, rebellious?) facial features. Those preferring Taylor Swift or other more mainstream music should express more positive & nurturing emotions that would be reflected perhaps by their lack of effects.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, the Alaskan composite shows a meaningful ammt of Eskimo admixture.

robert61 said...

You should be blogging, Albertosaurus. That's clear thinking. Do you comment anywhere else?

helene edwards said...

I've been on the Berkeley campus almost every day since 1986, and I can tell you that we haven't had any women who look like #3 since the early '90's. The compilation software obviously fails to take into account the masculinization process that's set in since the liberation of women's athletics programs.

SFG said...

MIT vs. CalTech. I'd make some crack about filtering the glasses out but they'd probably all be Asian.

Anonymous said...

The possibilities are endless... This might also be used to test the belief of Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"Each religious sect has its own physiognomy. The Methodists have acquired a face; the Quakers, a face; the nuns, a face. An Englishman will pick out a dissenter by his manners."

Wandrin said...

"I for one like to fancy that I can determine certain traits by looking at a person's face."

You can generally (not 100%) distinguish muslims from hindus from similar geographic regions by the lack of laughter lines around the eyes.

Anonymous said...

The Cali girl must be just a composite of San Diego/westside LA/coastal southern CA chicks. The ones in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Monterey - places I have lived - are cute, but most don't look anything like that.

ironrailsironweights said...

One thing all of the girls have in common is that they're all completely hairless :((((

Peter

Formerly.JP98 said...

Victorian novelists used to go on and on for pages about the shape of the noses of their characters on the theory that facial types correlated with personality.

That does not comport with my experience. Which novelists do you have in mind?

BTW, I too find the Arkansas composite to be the most attractive. I didn't even have to think about it -- it seemed instantly obvious to me.

Anonymous said...

The male beauty sense seems to exclude the odd, the old, the unlovely, the chubby, and the asymmetrical. That's why all of these girls are good looking or good looking enough.

Well, your beauty sense is, if you say so. I'm still trying to figure out Yoko Ono and Linda McCartney. Their famous husbands once petitioed their road managers for prettier orgy girls. Then, at the height of their fame and fortune, to whom do they commit?
I know pretty and really sexy women who never married, and zillions of plain looking women who are married (white, middle and working class) often to men better looking than they, and sometimes these guys are devotees. I can't figure it out. Men may be inflexible in theoretical high school boy conversations, and behave differently with real people. That is, if they come into contact with real people. I'm not so sure they do any more what with Twitter and cell phone porn.

Anonymous said...

What about native girls? Is including Native girls in the Alaskan composite because a whole lot of Alaskan girls are part or all native.

The girl does look like she has broad cheekbones though.

Wandrin said...

"I can't figure it out. Men may be inflexible in theoretical high school boy conversations, and behave differently with real people."

Regardless of what kind of looks and figure work best in a sex fantasy most men will find themselves sticking to a randomly met woman they happen to feel comfortable with.

Two brains.

Kylie said...

"Regardless of what kind of looks and figure work best in a sex fantasy most men will find themselves sticking to a randomly met woman they happen to feel comfortable with."

Which is why men generally prefer Mary Ann to Ginger. That and the fact that Mary Ann could whip up a mean batch of brownies while stranded on a desert island. Ginger had all she could do not to trip over the hems of her evening gowns while mincing through the tropical jungle.

David said...

Albertosaurus said

>That's why all of these girls are good looking or GOOD LOOKING ENOUGH. [emphasis added]<

Any port in a storm.

David said...

>Americans are, in the aggregate, absurdly more attractive than the residents of any other country, of course.>

Didn't you see the post of European (and world) average faces? Page down through posts.

Put Ms. Alabama among those faces. That's right - even worse than Ms. Samoa.

Anonymous said...

Steve hasn't talked much about the real value of facial averaging: predicting the future face of America with heavy immigration and miscegenation. The California girl actually looks like the girl from Ipanema, who is a mixture of Portuguese, Dutch, Amerindian, and Arab.

The Alaskan average face is just a fat white girl, while the average girl from Arkansas looks like she has a secret negro in her bloodline.

The averaged black faces are very interesting: Whereas Miss Arkansas looks like a mulatto, Miss Florida has definite Latin features, and Miss Alabama looks like she's straight outta Namibia.

torpor said...

"Albertosaurus said

>That's why all of these girls are good looking or GOOD LOOKING ENOUGH. [emphasis added]<

David responds: "Any port in a storm."

and here David says,
"Didn't you see the post of European (and world) average faces? Page down through posts.

Put Ms. Alabama among those faces. That's right - even worse than Ms. Samoa."
2/14/2011"

David, your comments don't make too much sense unless you just have a bee up your butt about whites. So -- are you black? Or South Pacific Islander? If you are it's fine. Be at one with it.

Anonymous said...

The average face technology may
not be able legally (?) to sample
at random faces from, say, varied
Wal Mart Parking lots and then
to sample at random faces from prime time tee vee shows. The results would likely commend the perceptual enhancement of pitching the tee vee into the dumpster!!