These are the faces of average women from around the world. The images, which have been circulating on the web recently, are being attributed to the University of Glasgow as part of a “research” project using their online FaceResearch tool, but in fact the images are from an experimental art project called Face of Tomorrow, by South African photographer Mike Mike. The project which was first introduced in 2011 was blasted for the results, which only present beautiful women and do not in anyway reflect our world’s larger reality of diversity.

The techniques used in the resulting images are a modern version of a method that was first pioneered by anthropologist Sir Francis Galton in the late 19th century, where multiple images are laid on top of one another to create a new image. It involves first focusing in on the eyes, and then morphs other facial features together, smoothing out, or rather erasing the characteristics that make each of us unique. The technique is still widely used today to study people’s perception of beauty.

No matter the confusion surrounding how these images came to be, the concept of compiling a composite of what women look like around the world is a pretty cool idea. But maybe its time to come up with a new method that isn’t rooted in late 19th century findings. Like technology, beauty has evolved since then… well, at least we like to think so.

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