The Human Face (2001) s01e03 Episode Script

Beauty

Good evening, tonight's programme is on the human face and so am l because this is a human face that I'm standing on The BBC has miniaturised me at enormous expense, by BBC standards of course, so that we can take an even closer look than usual at the subject of beauty Hello! And the question that we're hoping to answer tonight is what is beauty and is it in the eye of the beholder? So, let's start by asking some babies From our earliest days we appreciate beauty Research has shown babies spend longer looking at adults with smooth skin, big eyes and full lips And they don't like uglies The fact that the tiniest babies are drawn to beautiful faces shows how much beauty matters to us human beings For instance, the face I'm standing on this evening belongs to Elizabeth Hurley Good evening! Good evening And obviously we wouldn't have asked Elizabeth to do the show if she looked like this Beauty does matter but the odd thing is it matters even more than we consciously realise You know, professionally and personally it gets you in almost every door If they think you're the most stylish man or the most handsome man, then related to work, then wonderful It is a true fact of our society that looks are important Anyone that doesn't believe it, no, women that say, "l keep a clean house, he loves me", no woman's husband ever came home and said, "the floor's immaculate, lie down you hot slut", never happens All the studies show that beautiful people get better jobs and earn more money Appearances even matter when it comes to getting the top job, for example, which of these two men would you vote for In September 1 960 John Kennedy and Richard Nixon appeared on radio and television battling for the presidency I believe the programmes that Senator Kennedy advocates will have a tendency to stifle those creative entities I really don't need Mr Nixon to tell me what my responsibilities are as a citizen People who listened to the debate on the radio thought that Nixon had won, but people who watched it n television disagreed Nixon's sweats and his five o'clock shadow put them off and they pronounced Kennedy the winner Nixon had refused makeup saying it was for gays If you have beauty it brings many hidden advantages but what gives it this extraordinary power? After all, Helen of Troy didn't just win the Miss Pelopponese title, she started a nine-year war Let's start by seeing what most people think Well, I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I mean, I can think of some very beautiful actresses and models who I think are fabulous and I can say to a boy, my gosh, she's gorgeous - I can't stand her, I hate those big lips and she's way too thin - but I genuinely think she's gorgeous How do supermodels like Kate Moss affect you? Because the fashion industry is unanimous Something like Kate's face is incredible because her bone structure just sort of, you know, bowls you over, she has got such fabulous bone structure so as far as a canvas for a makeup artist to make her up and, you know, she's just so desperately photogenic as well Sarah Doukas is head of the Storm Model Agency She discovered Kate Moss and she's acknowledged as an expert at spotting the next fashionable face She believes that ideas of beauty change all the time It's very fast-flowing, I mean, we find a lot of faces and they are fashionable for a moment We're constantly looking for new faces but it's become voracious It doesn't get more voracious than this, seven hundred entries in a competition to find a new face for the Agency When it all started ten, fifteen years ago, the faces started to look very unconventional, you know, you used to hear people say, she's hideous or, you know, I mean, I think that girl is really quite ugly, I mean, I think the general public are probably quite aghast at some of the strange faces in magazines like The Face for example, but I think gradually obviously it gets inside one and it's what we consider is beautiful Today Sarah is face to face with the ten finalists she's selected She's looking for the next beautiful face that will work for the fashion industry This is Zara, aged seventeen This is Samantha aged sixteen, Laura aged eighteen, Rachel aged eighteen So who will they go for and why? Eyes should be wide spaced: you can't have a weak jaw: you can't have a sort of flat nose because the light hits it and you end up sort of with a, you know, a banana I love the nose and the mouth, it's slightly imbalanced, it's, do you know what I mean? The eyes are slightly smaller than, she's just got such an interesting do you think she's a possible I'm still thinking back to Rachel I don't know, there's just something about her I know, she's serene and beautiful although she's terribly pretty and she's beautiful, she's got a very sort of There's some disagreement about who is more beautiful, Rachel or Zara Yeah, its' not as interesting I would say Yes, it hasn't got as much sort of depth, whereas somebody like Zara has got such a good structure in place, the camera just loves her face They've chosen Zara Would you have? Apart from a big hooter, cross eyes or missing teeth, the widely held view in the fashion industry seems to be that beauty is what the fashion industry says it is, but I suspect there's more to beauty than that So, what can we say about his potent force in our lives? Well, here's a starting point Look at the face I'm standing on Now, whether you think Elizabeth Hurley is extraordinarily pretty or stunningly beautiful isn't worth arguing about because very few people are going to maintain that she's a total dog Thanks John Not at all Elizabeth and welcome to the show Now, this gives us a clue to what scientists have been discovering Many scientists think that far from being a matter of personal taste, there are universal rules for beauty, patterns that beautiful people have in common, something that can even be measured Well, these five look very different to me so, the grid Facial surgeon Dr Stephen Marquardt has spent over twenty-five years almost obsessively searching for the rules that govern beauty My job was to make faces more attractive that were deformed from birth or in car accidents, those kinds of things I noticed most of the patients did look more attractive when I was done, a few looked about the same and occasionally they wouldn't look as good, and that was, that was very distressing, as you can imagine, particularly if some of the operations were nine hours in length and to operate that long and have, we always would fix the functional problem but to have them not look as good was extremely disappointing So what did that make you feel? It made me wonder what attractiveness was, I was doing the same thing for everyone Hoping to find some clues to the rules which govern beauty, Stephen Marquardt went out and asked people who worked in the beauty industry So I just started canvassing different people that I knew in those industries and it was pathetic, I couldn't believe it, nobody knew what beauty was nobody could understand it, people, everybody had a different idea Everybody had an opinion about what beauty was and a lot of people's opinion was it's kind of a, ethereal oneness with the universe, if you will, and when they told me "ethereal oneness with the universe" it's like, hey wow, wait a minute, I'm a surgeon, you know, that isn't, that's not gonna help me out, so I kept looking Stephen wanted to see if people could agree on anything about beauty, so he did his own study He got photographs of eighteen very different women and then asked people from all over the world to say which they found more and less attractive We had people rank these eighteen faces according to what they thought was more attractive to least attractive They found the faces up here most attractive, then as you came down here they found them less and less attractive until we get down to this area when they found them barely human looking Some of these patients were taken out of medical textbooks, they were published years and years ago and today no one would ever get this bad before they were treated These are all real people, they're all women between the ages of about fourteen and twenty-four to thirty This is the entire range of human visual appearance of the faces and we try to include everything in our study and, astoundingly, everybody in the world within about ninety-seven percent ranked these eighteen photographs exactly the same We thought people from Asia would have a different concept, but it was very consistent all through the world, didn't make any difference whether somebody was four years old or eighty years old, they ranked them the same, it was just astounding What this study suggests is that there are some things we can all agree on, some universal rules of beauty So what are some of these universal factors that hold true for all beauty? Let's start by looking at babies Ahh Babies seem to generally be considered very attractive, so I started studying baby's faces and I wondered if there was an ideal face for baby and it turns out there is, there is an archetypal face, not only for the adult but there is one for the infant too But baby's beauty is quite different from adult beauty This baby looks wrong, doesn't he? It's because he's got an adult face on a baby's body For some reason the medieval artist Giotto didn't give this face a baby's proportions Babies judged attractive tend to have plump cheeks, rosebud lips and enormous eyes all scrunched up together in the centre of the face It's these proportions that release our protective instincts.
Ahh Yes, he's not quite what I'm looking for Well what about this one? No, no, I don't think so How about this? Sorry to be difficult but it's not right Well, I don't think I have anything else, unless this appeals to you at all? Now that is beautiful, oh, I love the way he dribbles, does he hunt? No Good, cos I can't wait to protect him Ahh.
It's that helpless, nurture-me look that men eventually learn is what makes babies attractive What's certainly true is that good-looking babies often stay good-looking Out of earshot I could hear people, the grown ups, saying oh, he's very good looking, he's just like his father, he's just like his father When was that, when do you remember that? I think I was probably four, five, he didn't understand it but there was something about your look, something that was right about you Look at these teenagers The baby face features, large eyes, rounded cheeks and full lips are still judged attractive - but a lot's changed They become attractive in a different way, not in a parental nurturing way but in a sexually attractive way for a mate When did you realise that you were beautiful? I realised that other people thought I was beautiful around thirteen or fourteen, I, I started noticing that the behaviour of others around me changed If we're talking about female beauty and standards of female attractiveness, the two largest predictors are youth and health Dr David Buss studies human mating behaviour Things like clear skin, smooth skin, full lips because lips, most people don't know this, lips get thinner as you age and so full lips is a sign of youth, also a sign of health Stephen Marquardt suggests there may be an age range of maximum beauty There's a certain window during our life when we're most attractive particularly women, and that's about, between the ages of fourteen and twenty-four, that's, they start menstruating at fourteen, they're ready to reproduce and that correlates and coincides with their highest window of attractiveness physically, and particularly facially I don't think that's true at all in girls or boys as it happens cos l, it's a different sort of sweet puppyish sort of prettiness when your very young, but you know, it doesn't really move you, I don't think, it's sweet I think I got prettier in my late twenties certainly than in my early twenties, whereas you know convention would have it you look at your best when you're seventeen then go off the boil from then on Scientists however suggest that although there may be individual differences, basically youthful features advertise sex Sex, of course, advertises products This is Zara who you'll remember was plucked out of obscurity to be a new fashion model I got a letter through the post, which was harsh cos I didn't know whether to open it or not The first letters I saw were "l hope you are alright, so I was like, oh, what's this gonna be, you know, and it was just, congratulations in big black capital letters Zara's now much in demand but why? What is it about her face that people find so compelling? Scientist Dr Stephen Marquardt thinks he knows The question's gonna come up for you with people, what is attractive about you? You are attractive and people will tell you you're attractive and the reason you're attractive is you have the components of both the adult beautiful face and the baby's beautiful face, which is really interesting, it's very unusual What it does is it incorporates not only the adult beauty of the high cheekbones and the pretty nose, nice shape, and the nice forehead, nice jaw line, but also the slightly retreated chin and the cupid's bow upper lip She has a very short upper lip like a baby and a cupid's bow upper lip Iike a baby and the retreated chin of a baby and the larger features of an infant, which is very attractive, combined with the adult features of the high cheekbones, pretty nose, beautiful skin and big eyes I've always thought I've got really peaky eyes, little eyes, I don't know and big lips, I used to hate my lips when I was younger and everyone used to call me Joker at school cos that smile, can you see that, I used to get picked on So how beautiful do you consider Zara? Well, before you decide let's hear some other theories about beauty Almost all scientific theories about beauty are based on so-called evolutionary psychology The idea is that much human behaviour is subconsciously driven by our animal past For all our apparent sophistication, we are, deep down, creatures driven by a fairly basic biological urge- to mate And to have offspring But how well does this theory explain human behaviour connected with beauty? Well, looking down at Elizabeth's face makes me think of makeup Estee Lauder That's enough of that! Human beings have been using makeup for over four thousand years, so they must have developed some inkling of what they're trying to achieve with it, what buttons they're trying to press Even in ancient Egypt women were already using the same techniques they do today They enhanced their eyes with coal and used iron and copper ores to decorate their face Dermatologist Dr Vail Reese thinks makeup has one main purpose Well, makeup really tries to minimise any discolouration of the skin, any irregular contour and then better allow attention to be drawn to certain features such as the eyes or the lips, which we as humans want to accentuate, at least in women at least You put on a base to sort of even everything out and it's like making a flat clean canvas and then you start painting So, how do we paint features and why? Well, eye makeup: can make the eyes look bigger, therefore younger and sexier Also darkening the upper lids can produce so-called bedroom eyes Why do bedroom eyes exist? Why do we associate that with sexiness? It's because in the last stage of sexual encounters, a moment or two before our orgasm, one of the muscles that keeps the upper eyelid up relaxes and the eyes begin to droop, so someone who has bedroom eyes in a sense looks like they're always on the verge of orgasm, that is where extended A permanent characteristic that reminds us of the way we look at that particular moment, just before without even thinking about it Next, lipstick Psychologists argue that when you get aroused your lips get fuller and redder and that's what red lipstick is trying to mimic When people are sexually aroused, the psychologists tell me, the lips, for example, will not only get larger, they become engorged, there's more blood in the lips so they actually get a darker colour You read Desmond Morris on that, didn't you? Yes, some of it, but I didn't know whether all of that was right, but what I was talking about is just the fact that I think it's rubbish You think it's rubbish? Utter rubbish He said that women do red lips, mirroring the red vulvas of chimpanzees when they're in heat Well, it's obvious, isn't it? Bollocks Some evolutionary biology may be bollocks but I do believe that makeup helps advertise fertility by emphasising youth and health and the link between beauty and health turns out to be much closer than I ever imagined Just look at those hurdlers Ever wondered why top athletes tend to be good looking? Professor John Manning is doing research which links looks with running ability He's doing it here by measuring ears Our research has concentrated on athletic ability and what the face tells us about that The link which ties athletic ability to beauty in Professor Manning's research is symmetry Whether the two sides of your face are the same or very different seems to affect your running ability Runners with asymmetric ears run more slowly than runners with symmetric ears, and this is not a question of wind speed and aerodynamic aspects of the face So what's going on here? Well, people with symmetrical bodies find it easier to run faster, and having more symmetrical ears is a sign you've got a more symmetrical body This is amazing when you think about it, because these are, asymmetries are very, very small, they're of the order of a millimetre or so, but we seem to be able to perceive them and people rate symmetric faces as being more attractive than asymmetric faces Do you agree? How do you prefer me? Normal like this? Or symmetrical like this? And what's the big thing about symmetry? Well, it all begins in the womb We all start off looking like aliens but we're programmed to grow symmetrically so, if all goes well we turn into pretty symmetrical adults But things can go wrong Now, obviously a symmetrical face is typically a healthy face, but you have a parasitic infection or if you have congenital malformation of some kind that's distorted your face, it's going to produce an asymmetry and when you detect something asymmetrical it's no longer attractive and you don't want to mate with it What neurologist Dr Ramachandran is saying is that if you're unfortunate enough to have been infested with a parasite such as a tapeworm and it's residing inside you when you're growing up, then this will affect not only your bodily health but also your face If you have a parasitic infection you may not be able, you may not be very fertile, for all these reasons it's best to avoid an asymmetrical face and this may be one reason why you're, there's a repulsion, so you recoil from anything that's deformed, asymmetrical, distorted Because it could be dangerous Because it could be dangerous In a more primitive sense, the face advertises health, okay? Any doctor will tell you one of the first things they teach you in medical school is to look at the face In Stephen Marquardt's study, the faces ranked good looking were more symmetrical, the less attractive faces were less symmetrical and the grossly asymmetric induced a feeling almost of repulsion It's this innate reaction to faces that Hollywood has exploited You'll have the clear-complected individual as the hero and then any skin defect can be used by film-makers to identify to audiences, "watch out for this one", so that skin really becomes a reflection not just of health but of moral content I'm so unhappy, my stepmother and sisters are going to the ball without me, I do wish I could go to And so you shall Who are you? I'm your fairy godmother dear, I've got a heart of gold I don't trust you, you're hideous This is facial fascism Poor woman.
It's true that people with bad skin are not evil, I mean, both you and I know that rationally but they have done studies to show that if you, they will take subjects and have them interact with someone who is clear complected or interact with someone say with acne scars or a large scar, that there was more hesitation, there was more concern, more fear associated with the people that did not have normal skin or good skin Henry de Lotbiniere has facial cancer, he knows what it's like to be stared at and judged by others But he's very philosophical about the way he looks and he's not upset by the honest reaction of children I find it extremely entertaining talking to a five-year-old about why I've only got one eye or look slightly odd, and I've always been impressed by the simple way that the five-year-old is just interested and enjoys the conversation on the bus with a complete stranger about what it's like to only have one eye This is Henry at twenty-one when he was studying to become a barrister and he's still working If I went into some absolutely extreme state then it might be different, but certainly having an eye removed, having the shape looking a bit odd, Iosing all the nerves and muscles in the left hand side of my face, so that when I smile in a happy way as I understand it the right hand side of my face moves but the left hand doesn't move a bit, it simply for some reason doesn't worry me Henry was forty-two when he first discovered that he had a rare facial cancer It started under his left eye and gradually progressed Henry's proud to have a family who've supported him through all his surgery I mean, my wife and children don't appear to pay any attention to what I look like, they don't get worried, they don't express relief that I'm not too bad and I think that helps me as the patient enormously because I'm not being reminded of it, I don't have people sympathising, I don't have people saying, "l wish they'd done a better job", and that leaves me just being me Possibly, the gradual change in his appearance made it slightly easier for Henry and his family to deal with A sudden change can be traumatic in a different way Dr Stephen Marquardt was only four years old when his mother's face was badly damaged in a car accident My grandmother and aunt just took me in and actually, you know, I was walking ahead of them down the hallway of my grandmother's house, my mother walked out of the bedroom she was staying in at the time and her eyes were all bloodshot, her nose was squashed on her face, she had no upper teeth, her two jaws were wired together, her face was all cut and sutured, I mean, she looked like a monster and I just about had a heart attack I turned around and she mumbled, "Stevie", you know, "hi", through her wired jaws and I turned around and ran out the room screaming and I didn't trust my grandmother, my aunt or my uncles or anybody for several weeks after that, I wouldn't have anything to do with them She wasn't my mother any more, she didn't act the same, she didn't look the same, she didn't talk the same, there was just, and then everybody said, "this is your mother", it was very difficult at four and a half at that point or five years old, it was like, "here's your mother back, have a nice day" Interestingly, the surgeon who did take care of her at the time of her accident was a maxillofacial surgeon like I was, and I think that probably at some point, level, maybe that's why I got into it Life is a crazy thing, crazy things happen and sometimes you don't realise where you've been until you look in your rear view mirror, you know Stephen's childhood experience not only led him into a career as a surgeon, it also motivated his search for the rules of beauty He found his first clues in the writings of a Greek philosopher Remember Pythagoras? The square of the hypotenuse of a right angle triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides Thank you Elizabeth Yes, him He claimed not only to quantify, to understand the secret of the code of beauty, he claimed to see beauty in the universe, that's a pretty big statement I'm looking for beauty in the face, he says he found it for the universe, that's pretty amazing What Pythagoras realised is that plants and animals grow according to fairly precise mathematical laws It's not just chance that flowers unfold in beautiful patterns, and the Greeks found the patterns were based on a particular geometrical ratio, but it wasn't until the Renaissance that an ltalian did the maths He figured out that the key to beauty was the ratio of 1 to 1.
61 8 Grazie.
Oh, Miss Linguini, wait, take your glasses off, now let your hair come a-tumbling down Miss Linguini, you're beautiful And yet, and you're not going to believe this, 1.
618 actually works Do something like measure the distance from the floor to your navel and then from your navel to your head If you're well proportioned the ratio should be 1 to 1.
618, and that ratio is seen all over the beautiful body People started noticing it, artists noticed it, the width of the, in a beautiful face for example, not in any face but it had to be beautiful, if a face was beautiful the width of the mouth was exactly 1.
61 8 times the width of the nose, if the face wasn't beautiful that wasn't the case Dentists, in their dental work, noticed that the upper front tooth was 1.
61 8 times as wide as the next tooth over, the lateral incisor, so the central incisor was 1.
61 8 times the width of the lateral incisor, the next tooth over Wonderful, give me some more examples Your fingers, the, your fingers are each called phalanges, and each bone in the finger is called a phalanx, and the phalanx that's the most, the closest to your knuckle here is 1.
618 times the phalanx that's in the middle and that's 1.
618 times the length of the phalanx at the end which is finger nail So that was kind of amazing, this number would come up over and over again Now remember Zara? Would all this theory work on a real person like her? This is what's called a golden divider, it divides different line areas or distances from, into 1 and 1.
618, which is the golden ratio and in a beautiful face we'll see that ordinarily the width of the mouth is 1.
618 times the width of the nose, and it does in Zara, exactly If we look at the teeth we can see that ordinarily, show me your teeth, smile a little bit, the width of the upper front tooth is 1.
61 8 times the width of the tooth right next to it and the same on the other side, the width of the upper front tooth is 1.
61 8 times the width of the tooth next to it, so it's amazing how this proportion is repeated over and over again in a beautiful face and the same thing with Zara, if I do the width of her mouth, sorry, I'll do it again, I'm a surgeon I'm used to sharp things, I hardly ever cut myself, okay, so, so if I do the width of her mouth to the width of her face the camera should be able to see that this, the width of the mouth is 1.
61 8 times the distance from the mouth to the corner of the cheek And it is Anyway, this relationship holds up over and over again in the face and Zara's a great example, that's why she's so pretty So Zara's face fits the golden ratio And the golden ratio 1 to 1.
61 8 seems to apply to all beautiful faces Now, this idea that maths can explain a beautiful face, any beautiful face, has been taken even further by Stephen Marquardt So, if I look at the nose the nose is a triangle and the front, and the side view the nose is a triangle again And in a beautiful face the sides of the triangle are 1.
618 times greater than the base and from a triangle you can build a pentagon What's the most attractive configuration of the face, the most attractive expression? Smiling, when I smile you start to see the pentagons here Oh, yes I do, there, it's there, there, there Right, exactly Stephen Marquardt combined pentagons and triangles, all with the 1.
618 ratio, and built a mask He claims that the closer a face conforms to his mask the more beautiful it is Start with Kate Moss Now Kate looks totally different than the others, but if I put the mask on her you can see that it's very close Now, the interesting thing about Kate is that her eyes are preternaturally wide or unusually wide, her eyebrows fit beautifully, her lips, her nose, her jaw line, very, very nice, even the hairline is exactly what it should be And it's not just women The same mask can be put on men and Tom Cruise fits it perfectly In fact, Stephen claims it fits any human face, so long as it's beautiful Here's one of my favourite actors, star of stage, screen and television, Iet me just see how he fits, oh, what a handsome guy Oh, it's Paul Newman It is Paul Newman, wait a moment, it's better than Paul Newman, it's John Cleese Don't tell me that, he's got a moustache grid To my surprise, it didn't fit my face at all, though Stephen had a good excuse for me Quite frankly, it's very masculine, you'll see that in a man the eyes in there the eyes are always narrower in a man, your eyes are narrower than the grid, the lips are thinner and you can see your lips are thinner here and your nose is narrow just like the grid and actually your nose is a little shorter which is good actually Having discovered the mask Dr Marquardt was able to successfully use it as a template when reconstructing patient's facial deformities Now, Elizabeth Hurley, she's almost as good-looking as you but, Iet's see, I think, oh my gosh, that's pretty darn close The eyebrows are just in the upper edge of the mask giving this nice arch, it looks beautiful Don't tell her, she'll be unbearable It'll be our secret The cheeks are perfect, the nose fits beautifully in there, the lips, the width of the lips is great, the lower has beautiful curvature, the chin and jaw line is great, it's just remarkable how it fits So Elizabeth's face is absolutely perfect apparently, personally I think her nose is a bit pointy, but John! Not you Elizabeth, another Elizabeth So, that's everything that we can say about beauty that's universally true So now we need to look at all that stuff about beauty being in the eye of the beholder, or in this case, the beholder being in the eye of the beauty In other words, stuff that varies from place to place and from era to era - yes, folks, we're entering the world of fashion Take the fashions in skin tone, for centuries in Europe Iooking pale was extremely fashionable Elizabeth I used a mixture of white lead and vinegar to look as pale as possible Unfortunately it was poisonous and it had a tendency to run Then, four hundred years later, the suntan was suddenly in Previously it was a sign of a common type who worked outdoors with his hands, yuk: but now a suntan meant you were wealthy enough to travel to the sun for your holidays The fact that so much, a film was made in Hollywood in the fifties and sixties had incredible influence nationally on the thought that a tanned appearance was healthy and was good and was beautiful So the suntan came in and now is beginning to go out of fashion But is there any more to it than just fashion? Dr Ramachandran s bravely prepared to hazard a biological explanation for preferring pale skin Every medical student is taught that anaemia, cyanosis, which means a bluish tint of the skin, and jaundice, which means a yellowish discolouration of the skin, is much easier to detect in a fairer skinned person especially a blonde than in a brunette, so from a distance of twenty feet you can say if the blonde is anaemic because she's pale skin, whereas a brunette can disguise this fact and fool you So in a sense a brunette is saying, come and mate with me, but you don't know if she's anaemic or not, whereas a blonde, there's truth in advertising, the blonde is saying, look, I'm healthy, I'm pink, come and spread your genes, mate with me So, even a fashion like pale skin may have a biological underpinning Take hair.
A full head of lustrous hair is a sign of youth, vitality and health but the fashions in hairstyles change all the time, unpredictably For example, in 1624 Louis Xlll lost his hair and had to wear a wig when he was king The entire French court instantly followed the new fashion and soon developed it beyond recognition until the wigs became so large that some of them were sublet Between the demands of fashion and the desire to obey our biological hard wiring, the need to present ourselves as youthful, healthy and fertile, we all spend a huge fortune every year on our beauty: but is all this fuss about beauty really justified? Well, for young people it makes a lot of sense, essentially what they're looking for is pretty basic When you're young you don't care about mental beauty, my mother would always try to fix me up with the girl, the lady at church's daughter who was a great piano player, that's the last thing I wanted to do, exactly, made her own clothes, isn't that wonderful, she likes to read - "oh great mum, I can't wait" So, I was looking for a beautiful, you know, a beautiful girl who was the prom queen Who fitted the bill Exactly, I didn't care if she had a brain or not, I was attracted to beauty and young people are attracted to beauty So when you're young, looks are really important, but what happens when you grow a little older? When people are seeking a partner, a serious one not a himbo or a bit of fluff, you know, some flibbertigibbet for a bit of fun on a Saturday night, yuk! So, what are the things that we're really looking for in a long-term partner? My study of thirty-seven cultures, looks is about, physical attractiveness is third or fourth in importance Men, when they're doing mate selection, they look for partners who are intelligent, who are kind, who are understanding, who are dependable, who are attractive but also who are healthy and emotionally stable, there are a large collage of characteristics that come into play in long-term mating that don't really come into play in short term mating Thank you darling, it's beautiful Good, good, good Is the other one for me too? No, no, no, that's for my mistress Mistress? You have a mistress? You never told me? It's not important I didn't know you had a mistress Oh, I see her only what, every two weeks you know, it's not important, it's only for sex, just for sex Well who is she? Anyone I know? She's a showgirl, Morris has one too Your business partner has a mistress? They're in the same show Pass the salt please Can I see her? Of course, if you're interested, why not, why not? Which one is she? Who? Your mistress? Oh, ah, the brunette, third from the left.
And which is Morris's? The blonde on the end Ours is better I think so A man doesn't have to be good looking, a man needs personality and a big wallet, we all know this Look at these men who marry these women, these little short, and they've got these gorgeous women and they really think the girl likes them? So, as we get older we don't get quite so high on beauty Here I am again, getting high on Elizabeth, about 5' 6" high 5' 8" actually Oh, honestly, if I'd known she was going to be so touchy What? Nothing John? Later.
So, if beauty gives us pleasure how come then that it also makes people miserable Miserable? Will you shut up you old bat! Stop interrupting Faces like hers are becoming a problem because As I was going to say, faces like hers can be a problem if we compare our looks and then start feeling inadequate Even attractive people sometimes find themselves doing this There's just posters of beautiful people everywhere, no one ugly Beauty used to be rare, now it's everywhere, that's not helpful In ancestral times, in small-group living, a man wouldn't have encountered very many attractive women, basically it would have been a dozen to two dozen potential mates to start with, only a few of whom would be very attractive And now we're surrounded by it Now we're surrounded by it, thousands and thousands, in some cases millions of potentially attractive partners What that does to men is that it decreases the commitment that they feel toward their regular partner and then they look at the models, they look at their regular mate and they think, there's a better mate out there for me And even if you're lucky enough to be one of the beautiful people there can be disadvantages For example, if things come too easily, you may end up wondering if your looks are all there is to you When I was quite young, my father, he said, "You know Candice, he said, it's the beautiful women who are unhappy, it's the beautiful women who commit suicide" and I went, "gee, wow, I hope I don't get to be beautiful because that's going to be like a sort of death sentence" and he, and he was sort of putting it, to say the least, rather dramatically by way of saying, it's really hard if you sort of hit forty-five or fifty and then you think, "Oh, I have no personality, I'm going to have to make it on something else now" and then it's really hard to find personality when you're that much older because where do you look for one, you can't sort of borrow it You know, I always thought that l'd be a much more talented actor if I had a broken nose and I was a foot shorter, I just thought if l, if I had that kind of squat, burly thing going, I think I would be a lot more advanced in my technique of acting, but and that's because of the shaming that goes on because you the shaming, the shaming, when you feel that shaming of, maybe that you are too good-looking And it's a little bit of a gift anyway that you can't really take credit for Yes, I mean, it pisses me off when they say I'm pretty What word would make you comfortable? Seriously? Rugged, rugged, I always wanted to be rugged Would you like me to punch you now live on television Yes please we could settle all these problems of yours and then you could become a seriously good actor I can just see this programme cutting that out Fucking hell, love, look at him that guy's always fucking pissed me off Somebody once said that beauty is the passport to success but it's not a passport, it's a visa - it expires and if you've built your life on your beauty, what you do when you begin to lose your looks? Well, you start thinking about plastic surgery What a nerve! I had my eyes, the bags taken out from under my eyes, I had a full face lift, I had breasts lifted and I had a face feel and I'm looking for anything else Now, I don't have a tooth left of my own in my head and I've had a couple of hair transplants - in fact if I'd been living in 1500 I'd look like this by now, so I'm not pointing the finger at anyone who has cosmetic surgery, but I did hear one reason why it maybe it's not such a great idea It came from George Orwell, who once remarked: "After the age of forty a man is responsible for his face" In other words if you're young whether you're good looking or not is just the luck of the draw But as you get older your face begins to show the world what sort of person you are because whatever your habitual expressions are: kind, cheerful, mournful, embittered, they start etching themselves onto your face, so then your face starts telling people what sort of a human you are Allowing this to happen maybe what people mean by the phrase "growing old gracefully" So if you're beautiful as you grow older, it's not a free gift, it's because your face shows qualities that are timeless and that we all admire: strength, kindness, dedication, wisdom, enthusiasm and humour, intelligence, compassion Now those faces are achievements whereas Elizabeth Hurley's? Well, very nice to look at, of course, but it doesn't mean she isn't a total shit We'll just have to wait to see, good night Elizabeth, aaaargh! Good night.
And next week, leading on from beauty, we'll be glancing at, no, trying to glimpse, staring, taking a look that's it, taking a look at fame, fame, not Georgie Fame, just fame Thank you