Beauty may no longer be in the eye of the beholder

Beauty may no longer be in the eye of the beholder: Ugly Meter App

Updated: Apr 25, 2012 21:51 PM CDT
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Beauty used to be in the eye of the beholder. Nowadays, a phone-app is making some of the judgments. More than 5 million people have bought the "Ugly-Meter" app.

Here's how it works: You take a photo, or scan one in, and the app takes measurements of the face. The measurements are compared to what the app claims are scientific standards for beauty -- things like facial symmetry and how wide the mouth is compared to the eyes. 

The app then delivers a ranking on a zero-to-ten scale. A higher number means uglier, according to the app. 

FOX Chicago News paid $0.99 for it and one producer tested it out with folks along Michigan Avenue. The thing can be pretty harsh.

Besides being absurd, the app's results are inconsistent. The app ranked the same person at a two, then at an eight. The angle of the photo might make a difference. 

The app's maker says the "Ugly Meter" is just for fun. It's labeled as entertainment. 

Still, critics have some serious concerns, especially about school kids using it.

"Whether male or female, to be at a party, to be in a group and to do something like this and not fit in and potentially get a low rating," child psychiatrist Dr. Louis Kraus said via Skype, "it could be demoralizing and ruin your self esteem."

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