Challenging the symmetry = beauty assumption
People with more symmetrical bodies and especially faces are supposedly more attractive, according to many experts. If that is true, how can I tell if a woman is beautiful by seeing only half her face? By not seeing the other half, I can't tell if she possesses bilateral symmetry. Some people with virtually perfect symmetry are at best average-looking, and some are optically boring or even downright unappealing, lacking the physical attributes that make the opposite sex want to kiss and hug them. And more. You know.
Researchers used image editing software to duplicate one facial half and flip it to create perfect bilateral symmetry, yet the results didn't make anyone's heart beat faster or inspire them to write love songs.
Some UCLA researchers agree with me. They “found that symmetry and attractiveness were not strongly related in faces of women or men.” They said “there was a significant difference between attractiveness and health. Facial symmetry may be critical for the appearance of health but it does not seem to be critical for the appearance of attractiveness.”
Some people claim that symmetry is associated with good genes that confer resistance to disease (ultimately explaining why people are supposedly so fixated on mating with such people so the genes they pass to the next generation are most adaptive), but of the many thousands of patients I had in the ER, some of the most attractive women were the least healthy.
A very beautiful local college student died from meningococcemia, and a physically yummy friend died from what began as a common cold. Her child sneezed and got over it; she went to her grave. Actress Nicole DeHuff had dazzling looks, but died at age 30 from pneumonia. College student Aimee Copeland is so stunning she makes many models look like Plain Janes, but she lost parts of her body due to a flesh-eating bacterial infection (and now that she is highly asymmetrical, she is still a knockout).
Contrary to what you might expect, who gets that and other infections is not just a matter of who is unlucky enough to be exposed to the germs that cause them, figuratively stepping on a hidden landmine. People are frequently exposed to germs that could infect and even kill them, yet our immune systems are able to fend off most infections.
These models are winking so much their bilateral symmetry can't be assessed, yet they are beautiful:
Furthermore, although winking temporarily reduces symmetry, it is considered to be something that enhances appearance.
Despite overwhelming evidence that symmetry is not essential for beauty, this myth persists and is frequently cited by people writing for prestigious publications and experts who should know better but swallow this falsehood hook, line, and sinker, along with sheeple who go through life differentiating fact from fiction not by thinking for themselves, but by letting other sheeple determine what is true and what is not. This explains why scientists and inventors with innovative valuable ideas are often ridiculed by sheeple and experts who think they know better, but don't.
This article is part of the $100,000 Challenge Series
People often think they are enlightened even when they believe things that should have been left in the Dark Ages. In this series, I will challenge conventional wisdom and explore some odd and unjustifiable beliefs that persist, offering $100,000 to the first person who can solve each challenge, proving me wrong. My opinions are bound to ruffle some feathers and make you think.
The $100,000 challenge: Prove that symmetry equals beauty. Good luck.