Over the weekend, I came across a very interesting exercise. In a move to find out how perceptions of beauty vary across the globe, the guys from Super Drug Online Doctors asked 18 designers across the globe to retouch an image of an underwear model to best fit with their culture’s perception of beauty and the “ideal female form”. Now I don’t want to judge any individual artwork or adaptation, and I wouldn’t recommend this necessarily as a design roadmap for marketing collateral or catalogues – BUT the overall results are quite intriguing and give you a quick introduction to aspects of beauty – from hair color and length, to body proportions, dress color, and even the importance of perspective and direction (so whether the person is looking right or left, or how the hair cut is directed). The study authors even tried to translate the retouched pictures into a Body Mass Index figure.
The full study can be found here: