BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Which face is the odd one out?

But the concept of physical beauty is not fixed, so while some people in the West pursue a tan, people in the Far East might avoid it. And while blond hair and blue eyes may draw envy in one country, another might rank wide hips and big bottoms as more desirable.

I noticed this in Sweden, where I got off the train and found myself in some kind of Perfect American Model planet, surrounded by tall, graceful blonde women. Naturally, walking through their high streets, every shop display, poster and mannequin featured an olive-skinned brunette.

(Incidentally, the BBC frames the story around Susan Boyle’s looks, then has the temerity to post her photo alongside that of Jonathan Rhys Meyers asking whose “face is the odd one out?” JRM’s appeal eludes me – if one can overlook his abysmal acting, his features give the impression he’s got fetal alcohol syndrome.)

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