For reasons too daft to admit in public, I am engaged in some pretty water breaking research from the Roman period.
However, I have run into problems (and whilst my PC repairs itself from a crash) I thought I’d take the time to relate the issue. For the research I need to know the frontal area of the human body as a function of height – arms up!! (There’s a deadly serious reason for it – even if it sounds daft).
So, yesterday I was searching the internet for images of people with next to nothing on with their hands up. However, for obvious reasons the kind of people who have their pictures available on the internet with next to no clothes on (or none at all) tend to be far from the average.
[Addendum: also many pictures are being touched up to reduce some bulges and enhance others – for full discussion see comments]
So, do I take the “average of people who like to pose without clothes” … or do I somehow select those that I feel to be “average”.
And it seems to be a problem particularly relating to women. Because not only do many men look pretty ordinary on the beech, but there’s even been some actual research producing images of the average man:
So Mr Average – done …. Ok, this is not one average. It’s something like Mr Average US (the tubby one) Mr Average Japan, Mr Average Netherlands (tall one) and Monsieur …
But talking about which ethnicity is most like Britain do I pick Mr average US (who is chubbier) or Mr average Netherlands … or who? And is Mr average the weight of the average age, or is it the average body size (allowing a few extremely grossly overweight individuals to tip the scales … )
But to make progress I decided to go with what was available for Mr average Man. But I also need a “Mrs average” (or miss?) and if I am to believe the scientific research on the subject apparently men and women are different shapes (who would believe it?)
I started looking to see if I could find a group of women from which I could take some average profiles. First however, they must have either no clothes, or very tight fitting clothes. Which for some reason seems to mean that they are young slender and far from average. So, next I tried searching for “parents” on the beech, then “parents nude” then “parents nudist”.
And who would believe it? What silly poses everyone takes when being photographed in the nude!!!! Women & men can be found in almost every single pose – but apparently no one seems to stand in the nude bolt upright!
What’s wrong with people?
Why doesn’t anyone just stand there – on a beech – not in the water – (preferably with a mono-colour background) in the nude looking straight at the camera with their hands in the air. They don’t have to smile – indeed I don’t care if they are standing with their backs to me (if avoids some of the problems with overhanging protrusions which cause unwanted shadows and make it more difficult to mask)
And when I do eventually find people standing there gormless in the nude on the beech …. what are they doing but standing IN THE WATER … or for some strange reason when displaying nude women, people seem to crop off the most essential part for determining height THE FEET!!!
But eventually this is the kind of images I got:
Note: not one of them has their hands up!!
And whilst I am not that familiar with the average woman … the second group look as if they have more insulation than “average”.
Mr Average Man
And just in case you were wondering (which I seriously doubt) this is what I have so far for “Mr Average”. The units are arbitrary
To explain: the ground is to the left. The peak at around 4 is the feet. That around 8 is the knee. That at 18 is the thigh. At 30 we have the upper chest/arms. The arm contribution is shown separately in orange (I had to chop off the arms and put them back the image so there might be some issues with their place) The neck is the dip at 32 and the top of head around 37 and finally the hands at 42.
And guess what of a man’s body is biggest in proportion to that of a woman? 30% bigger!!!
Finally the software started working again, and this my modelled Mr Average versus measured Mr average rss = 2.484402799·10-3
Addendum – Re the problem of Touched Up photos
The comments from Casey quite rightly highlighted that there apparently suitable photos on the web. And there was nothing for it but to show it in order to highlight the various issues:
The most obvious fault is between the girl on the left and the next where the horizon takes a dramatic plunge (This is so appallingly touched up that I would cringe if it were mine). The next serious issue is the direction of shadows. There is around a 90degree difference between those on the left and right. This would require an extremely wide angle lens – but the girls themselves do not appear to have been taken with a wide angle lens, nor do the waves between the legs arc away from the camera as one would see if the picture had been taken with a very wide angle lens.
Indeed, the waves appear to be in a straight line – although if you notice, there are peculiar discontinuities in the type of waves from one side of the legs to the others.
So the waves are either fake, or the girls have been superimposed on a scene of waves … or most likely it is multiple photos with background waves that have been stitched together with someone drawing in waves.
But, note how spindly the shadows are compared to their actual legs. And compare the massive size of the hips of the girl on the right with the alarmingly small size of the shadow in the same area. Also note how each girl is in sunshine so that there is almost no place that the shadow on one falls on the other. That tells us that there should be eight distinct shadows on the beech – there are not – indeed, toward the centre right the shadows overlap each other. That requires part of one girl to throw a shadow on the girl behind … or someone has added images with shadows in different directions.
Just to cap it all note how (numbering from left)
1 & 8, 3&7, appear to be twin sisters, 2&5 appear to be twins where one has been in baked in the sun and one not & 4&6 have remarkably similar hair and face shape.
Finally, (and key for what I need) look at the absurd thickness of the thighs compared to waist. … and if you want final proof … none of them have bikini lines … although as expected there are strange lines running around the edges of the bikini lines showing the edges of the areas that have been darkened to remove the bikini line.