The 'ideal beauty' model photo proves we have a long way to go

Mar 24, 2016 at 11:18 a.m. ET
Image: Canva.com

What do you think is beautiful? So much of the answer to that question depends on how we grew up and what we were exposed to as children.

Canva is a design firm and they took a look at faces in various advertisements and constructed a vision of "ideal beauty" for ads. How it works: These are 10 faces frequently featured in campaigns. Put together, they equal this:

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ideal beauty
Image: Canva

So this is beauty, eh? And they didn't stop with beauty alone. They also looked at car ads and clothing ads and electronic ads, and what they found is that "beauty" really just means uniform. And Caucasian. According to Canva:

"Aesthetics is a major component of advertising (probably the most crucial element of all ads across all forms of media, aside from those obnoxious jingles you hear on the radio), and brand models comprehensively represent the companies in a very important way. When you look at the face of a specific brand, you want to think to yourself, 'I trust that person. I like that person. That person is like me, and I want to buy whatever it is that they are so gosh darn enthusiastic about.'”

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Sometimes we can look at pop culture and movies and advertisements and think we are getting more diversity in skin color and body shapes, but then we see something like this and realize how far we still have to go. Trustworthy still means white in many places. This campaign is so important in terms of changing not only beauty "norms," but also in terms of how we view our fellow citizens. Do we automatically trust only people who look like us? And if so: How can we change that so we have a more inclusive society? In the end, that is really good for all of us.

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