Behold The “Average” Face Of Congress

The BBC reports:

Take a close look at this face. Who do you see? We’d call him a clean-cut, middle-aged white man. He looks like a John, a James, or a Robert. Perhaps you’ve met him once: the husband of a friend, or a former colleague. Or maybe you’ve only ever seen him on television – people who look like him don’t mix in your circles.

What you’re looking at is the face of American politics in 2017. He is a composite image of the US Congress: all 100 Senators and 435 members of the House of Representatives, blended into one. BBC Future decided to create the image because, in politics, faces matter.

The blended face that the algorithm spat out is, to put it bluntly, more handsome than the majority of the politicians it represents (with all due respect to them). This is a common feature that researchers have observed with composites. Average faces tend to be subjectively more attractive than most of the individual faces fed into the software. Blemishes and wrinkles are blurred out and symmetry is enhanced.

In the video below, the BBC collared a few Senators to see what they think.