The Sciences

The changing face of fame

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanFeb 25, 2011 7:51 PM

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Long time reader Dragon Horse has been generating and collecting (top row images are from Dienekes) composite image of various classes of individuals for a while now. It's really fun to just skim through and make your own assessments (the "global face" resembles darker skinned versions of Amerasians, whose fathers were white Americans and mothers Southeast Asian, to me). The most well known composites are of nationalities, but he's also generated and reposted composites of other classes. For example, the average Bollywood actressisAishwarya Rai. Not literally, but the resemblance is jaw-dropping (compare to the average Indian woman). But most interesting to me were the comparisons of American film actors, male and female, then and now ("Golden Age" vs. contemporary). I'm pretty sure you can pick out which one is which if you're American. There seem to be two correlated trends here: 1) more feminine features for both males and females, and 2) more youthful features for both males and females. Correlated, because neoteny and masculinization seemed to generally push in opposite directions of trait value. Projecting in the future I assume that the Global Human Celebrity will converge upon a 14 year old girl? Addendum: One difference between the "Golden Age" and modern celebrities is the attention to a rather buff physique. So though the actors of yore had more rugged faces, their physiques were often rather flabby in comparison to today's leading men. So I might correct and assert that the future global celebrity will be a baby-faced 14 year old girl with abs to die for!

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