While I was doing research for The Magic of Middle-Aged Women, I read a great deal about the nature of beauty. Beautiful facial features all derive from youth. (Young women are fertile, men are driven to reproduce: thus men want beautiful women.)
Beyond that there was no encapsulation or description of beauty, no formula of features–sizes, proportions, and layout–that capture the beautiful face. However, it was discovered that if you enter a large number of faces into a computer and have the features averaged out, the result is a generically beautiful–if not particularly interesting–face.
This exercise was recently conducted not just for youth in general, but by ethnic type. The image above shows the average–and thus the essentially beautiful–faces of women around the world.
While this is interesting, I look at it and think how much more interesting it would be if the women were thirty years older. What does the essentially beautiful middle-aged face look like? What happens when you add in not only age, but also character and kindness and peace of mind?