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From ape to human – the journey in pictures

I came across an excellent resource that graphically illustrates the path taken by humans to attain their present form, and we can infer how our sense of facial attractiveness has transformed.  This in the form of a book, “The Last Human: A Guide to Twenty Two Species of Extinct Humans.”  It does a great job of putting a face on ancestral species leading to modern humans.  This book illustrates meticulous reconstructions of fossils.  An example of a Homo heidelbergenis reconstruction is shown below.


The face of a Neanderthal woman

National Geographic currently has a feature on Neanderthals, a human species that flourished from 175,000 – 27,000 years before present in mostly Europe and to some extent the Middle East.  The feature centers on a fossil reconstruction of a Neanderthal woman.  Many bony parts, including the skull, come from those of an actual Neanderthal female, and feminized versions of bone remains of a Neanderthal male were used to complete the skeleton.  Muscles were added in accordance with the markings on the bones indicating points of attachment of muscles and the size of muscles.  The pigmentation is the best guess of the reconstruction team.  Genetic analyses have revealed that some Neanderthals had pale skin and red hair.


Attractive umbilicus (belly button) in women

This article addresses two papers on the attractive form of the umbilicus in women.


A genetic algorithm for selecting more beautiful faces

Here is a novel approach to generating more attractive faces using a computer, though the morphing methodology used leaves much to be desired.  The article is by Wong et al.(1, pdf)


Are faces more attractive when they are closer to the average of their ethnic group?

Potter and Corneille came up with the following study:(1, pdf)

Abstract: Face attractiveness relates positively to the mathematical averageness of a face, but how close attractive faces of varying groups are to their own and to other-group prototypes in the face space remains unclear.  In two studies, we modeled the locations of attractive and unattractive Caucasian, Asian, and African faces in participants’ face space using multidimensional scaling analysis.  In all three sets of faces, facial attractiveness significantly increased with the absolute proximity of a face to its group prototype.  In the case of Caucasian and African faces (Study 1), facial attractiveness also tended to increase with the absolute proximity of a face to the other-group prototype.  However, this association was at best marginal, and it became clearly non-significant when distance to the own-group prototype was controlled for.  Thus, the present research provides original evidence that average features of faces contribute to increasing their attractiveness, but only when these features are average to the group to which a face belongs.  The present research also offers further support to face space models of people’s mental representations of faces.


Aesthetic and cosmetic skin treatment

This page is for miscellaneous articles on the aesthetic or cosmetic treatment of skin.

Cellulite treatment by electromagnetic radiation (infrared, laser, radiofrequency) and ultrasound

The previous article on treating cellulite addressed mesotherapy or the use of agents that breakdown fat deposits in the fat cells just beneath the skin.  This article addresses a different approach to treating cellulite, namely using electromagnetic radiation or ultrasound to heat up the skin, typically in the form of twice-weekly treatments over a couple of weeks.  The heat damages collagen fibers, causes contracture of collagen-rich connective tissue, and prompts the body to overcompensate in terms of increased collagen content of the skin, which firms up the skin over the buttocks and back of the thighs.  This principle is also behind some approaches used for rejuvenating aging facial skin and reducing wrinkles.

Sensation seeking and men’s preference for facial femininity in women

I have until now addressed variation in men’s preferences regarding women’s physical femininity in terms of sexual orientation-related differences, but even among heterosexual men there is variation in the extent to which physical femininity is preferred in women, and here is an article on a series of 3 studies on this issue.  In these studies, the authors took pictures of the faces of young adult women and presented them to men in two forms, slightly masculinized and slightly feminized.  The male judges rated them for attractiveness.


Aesthetic surgery of women’s genitals: reduction of large labia minora

Large labia minora can result in chronic irritations, worsened hygiene, interfere with sexual intercourse and be aesthetically displeasing.  The solution is surgical reduction, and the technique addressed here is inferior wedge reduction with superior pedicle flap reconstruction.(1, pdf)

Women’s body size preferences among men in Britain, Malaysia and Samoa

Here are two studies on cross-cultural comparisons.



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