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November 07, 2007


Kathleen Bouvier

Ah, the mystery of couplings, things that fit together. Are not all three of your suppositions valid, even intertwined? Can anatomy and beauty (symmetric or not) be separated? Surely both play a role in the happy union of couples, or at least in the initial attraction.

Those face studies also show that while we may be attracted to the perfectly symmetric face in an aesthetic way it is similarity that draws us to mates. We are naturally attracted to those who resemble us in some way, who mirror our anatomy. (We can always hope that we might find similarities of mind and spirit as well…the union to strive for)

What applies to the visual aught to hold true of the compelling couple as well. Sharing some unique bond would make them interesting.. It is like the design theory that when you introduce an element to a space there need be at least one other of like kind. They explain one another.

So I suppose that the ideal pair would share some similarity yet be somewhat mismatched- for tension, intrigue, energy and individuality- and would succeed in somehow explaining one other.

One may not be enough. Two may be intriguing. But consider that three points, making a tripod, is known to be the most stable form of all. Hmmm.


Interesting article Rob,
Here are my thoughts on this subject matter.
I don't think the appeal of pairs of images has to deal with symmetry either. Because human beings are biologically & socially highly evolved organisms that through the course of time have learned to respond to certain external stimuli & the idea of pairs of things, I think, might possibly have more to do with the "lizard brain" in our cerebral cortex that maybe going back to the caveman days wanted, or more importantly needed some visual confirmation that our minds weren't playing tricks on us. It's a certain degree of visual reinforcement in a manner of speaking. Objects don't have to be identical, but similar enough to inspire our confidence with matter in the outside world and allow us as human beings to draw certain conclusions from them.


Interesting observation and nice pictures. I guess there's something mentally intriguing by all of us about a pair. One is too little, 3 is too much, 2 is just the right amount :-)

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