Photographer Uses Science To Find The Traits People Find Most Beautiful

Beauty really is in the eyes of the beholder.

Writer William Arthur Ward coined the phrase "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it." While seemingly just a philosophy for life, Photographer Scott Chasserot made that quote come to life. 

With the help of technology, Chasserot found a way for people to reveal their ideal physical self — what their subconscious longs to look like — just by watching their brain movements. 

The project website, Original Idea, explains the process:

The subject is presented with versions of their own portrait manipulated to change their facial features. They are then presented with these versions while attached to a brain scanner in order to determine which version they prefer. 

After the subjects had seen all of their images, Chasserot combined the traits the brain scanner indicated that they responded to most positively, and created their ideal image from them (on the right).


While this speaks volumes to the affect that beauty has on peoples' self-image, the experiment also sought to measure the assumptions or judgements people make about others' appearance on first glance.

"The project came about when thinking of how we project personality traits onto others, even complete strangers, based on their physical characteristics," Chasserot told A+. 

In other words, would people feel more connected or less longing to change themselves if others wanted to do the same?