Average women from 41 different countries

Slightly off topic, because this deals with the average human as opposed to the average woman, but National Geographic has this image showing what we would look like if all 7 billion of us were averaged out.

Relax. It’s obviously not any kind of rigorous or scientific effort (even if the site implies this). They have both “Indian” and “South Indian” (and the latter does not look nearly dark enough to be typical for the region). The “South African” appears to be derived mostly from those of European ancestry; a face representing the “average” of the population as a whole would look much more Bantu. And one would expect a Puerto Rican “average” face to look more African if it was really representative.

I’m thinking their software is wonky. Several of the nationalities had heads that looked spherical. Compare the French woman and the German woman. The average German woman looks like a female Charlie Brown.

Compare the skull widths of the Samoan woman and Italian woman; there’s a glitch somewhere.


Philster nailed it. This DOES NOT represent the average-looking woman of any given country. That is determined by genetic interactions, and there is no population-level force acting to average the phenotypic features of millions of women.

This averages the faces of extant women, and tends to minimize extremes. As with any strictly mathematical average, a statistical minority (in this case, 9.2% “white”, vs. 79.4% “black”, according to Wiki) will exert a powerful force on the resulting average, skewing the average results toward the “white” side.

Again, those who are objecting to this method on the basis of “well, that’s NOT what the average X ethnicity looks like!” need to realize that they’re sort of barking up the wrong tree. This is not the complex interaction of social factors, mate selection, and phenotypic expression. It’s just a simple mathematical average.

Philster nailed it? I think most of us would like to nail these women, they are absurdly good looking. Too bad it’s fantasy, there’s no way in hell these are averages. Or my girlfriend is an alien from the planet Xenon.

No, they absolutely ARE averages, but that doesn’t mean that the average woman looks like this. They’re simply mathematical averages of faces of real women, which tends to cancel out extremes on any one face.

It’s not mathematics if they separate races within one nation (“African American”) and but not in any others. Maybe they do, and those just aren’t posted. (But in that case, why bother to do the exercise at all?) Otherwise, why separate “African Americans” and not “African Mexicans,” or “Indio Mexicans”? That’s not mathematical; that’s ideological.

No, no, no. Skin pigmentation is another characteristic that will be significantly impacted by outliers in a mathematical average (which is what is being used.) Do it yourself on the page you posted. Take a few “black” faces, and average them with one “white” face. Notice how strongly the white face affects the average. Means are strongly affected by outliers.

I’m not talking about the actual images. I understand that entirely. I’m talking about the organization/presentation of the website.

Ah, I see. Sorry. Although, that’s entirely defensible to me as well, since “African-American” is a well-known, large minority in the U.S. (and a poorly-named one at that, but that’s a different thread), whereas “African-Mexican” and “Indio-Mexican” would, I would guess, be much, much smaller demographics. And I’m sure they’re not about to process average faces for every possible ethnic combination. For that matter, you can do that yourself, if you’d like.

And summing all these women up, I certainly couldn’t get a date in their countries either.

Reported for being a you-know-what.

So we’d be Asian. Seems about right.

mookie, we’ve told you to keep your comments about your depression in that one thread of yours. This makes the third warning you’ve gotten in the last week or so for ignoring that moderator instruction.

Your posting privileges have been under discussion, but, per mod consensus, I’m putting you on a two-week suspension now.

twickster, for the SDMB

Wow - that Polish woman’s eye shape thing I’ve noticed IRL is reflected in the Polish woman’s averaged face.



Yeah. Women are hot.

Actually, Amerindians make up 10-14% of Mexcio–the same percentage made up by the category “African American” in the U.S. (And “Latino” would make an even larger group in the U.S.) The real question is at what point is someone in Mexico no longer considered Amerindian and then called “Mestizo”?

Why say this about Mexico and not the U.S.? Few “African Americans” have absolutely no trace of Caucasian blood. Obama is just as much white as he is black, but everyone calls him a “black president.”

Exactly. So when they do make a decision to separate one group (and when they do it for one country and not another) that decision is inevitably ideological. If they can mix everyone up in Puerto Rico, they certainly can mix everyone up in the Continental U.S.

Some misconceptions here. I very highly doubt that this research is making claims about what the average person in various countries look like, rather the average of a given subset of faces. I suspect some of these are the average of a particular international student population in Scotland. Also, I doubt they mean to suggest that all these are countries. African American isn’t a nationality (but then neither are other subdivisions, and Puerto Rico is not a country either), but then so what? Take a study, filter it through a popular science article, and the claims become more sensational.

What someone needs to do now is take all those faces and average THEM together so that we can see what the “average” human female face looks like.

Of course, but why some subsets and not others. If you’re after “averages,” then why work with subsets? An exaggeration to make the point: “On the average day in mid-February when both oil prices are high and “House” is a re-run, the temperature is 41 degrees in San Francisco.” That’s only meaningful to a person who trades in oil, watches “House,” and has free time in San Francisco in mid-February.

And for whom is this average meaningful?

I would say that to make the images most meaningful, they should in fact use country (and country alone) to sort their data, because the place where a person lives is up to little interpretation.

And I’m sure it’s not a scientifically chosen representative sample of each population, but rather just a mash-up of whichever individuals of that ethnicity they happened to have around.

The line between “Indian” and “non-Indian” is much more a matter of language and culture than of appearance or genetic background. People are considered Indian mainly when their birth language is an Indian one rather than Spanish, and who maintain Indian dress and culture. Someone can be nearly 100% Indian in appearance, but won’t be considered Indian if their birth language and culture are Spanish.