The Barbie Sessions

A while back I saw this thing about “How To Use The Golden Mean To Dress Well“… although they’re it’s actually using the rule of 3rds (that photographers use) rather than Phi… 1.618.

dresswellWhich comes from this site here, which has lots of advice about “how to dress”, which I probably ought to take a look at, because I look like The Big Lebowski.

Anyway… time passes, then I saw this:


I don’t care if it does light up in the dark. The proportions aren’t (how you say) flattering.

So apparently someone named Tim Gunn has designed some clothes for Barbie. I have no idea who Tim Gunn is, but apparently he’s been on the television… and the outfits do look quite good, although I wouldn’t wear them myself. I did some golden-mean-checking on them… with the usual caveats about margin-of-error…

barbie2 barbie1

And they’re pretty close…

jessica… so I thought I might try the same thing with Jessica Rabbit

jessica_albaAnd then there’s the other Jessica…

lebowskiNot saying she looks like Barbie… but she looks a lot more like Barbie than I do…

So I thought “how does the grotesquely proportioned Barbie, compare to normal women”?… the best chart/comparison I could find was this:

barbie3Where (caveats apply (and this is a real stretch)) it looks as though a normal human body has more incidences of the golden mean than barbie, but Barbie proportions make clothes look better… which I suppose is why fashion models are all Barbie-shaped. Or at least more Barbie shaped than I am.

All of which is cheating.

In the process of doing this I wrote a program to calculate the ratios of all adjacent segments in a shape – so for 6 horizontal lines, there are 20 adjacent segments. 7=35, 8=56, 9=84 etc etc. And if you divide a “famously golden-meany” object like “The Human Body” or “The Parthenon” etc, using all the lines you could use… (which in the human body is about 12)… then the number of proportions that are within 4% of the golden mean aren’t actually any more than you get with a random selection.

So there is quite a lot of confirmation bias going on here.

The one exception I did find… was Barbie. Barbie dolls (if you use ALL 12 relevant nodal points, rather than arbitrarily selected ones) do actually have significantly greater numbers of golden-ratios than anything else I tried… including the Parthenon.

Make of that what you will.

Recent Posts

Wake me up when it’s 2020

Okay, it's 2020 now I guess. [br]I've been making Golden Mean Calipers for about 10 years now. [br]In 2019 I wrote 2 blog posts... that's not enough to achieve the various purposes of writing blog posts, among which are: [br]- to learn what you think [br]- to show people you're still alive [br]- to show google (et al) you're still…
click here for more.

Golden Mean Caliper Comparison Chart

I thought it might be useful for people to be able to compare all the calipers on the one page, so I made a comparison chart. CaliperDescriptionSmallest measurementLargest measurementPrice (USD)Most often used by Small Calipers 120mm or 4.5" high - smallest of the 3-armed calipers 9.5mm or .37" 189mm or 7.5" $35 Beauticians Artists working with detail, or smaller pieces…
click here for more.

Demo of Golden Ratio in Artistic Composition (fairly disorganised)

Over the years, I've built up a collection of Golden Ratio Calipers... and I decided it might be quite useful for people if I made a video comparing them. Some of them are really good - some terrible. So I set up my camera... and found that my video-space looked a bit bare... needed a painting. So I decided to…
click here for more.

Why The Golden Ratio Works For Flowers

Fairly amazing video going into the maths of why flowers (and pine-cones, relative leaf positions etc) are so often based fibonacci numbers. And it's fairly amazing because I actually understood it. It's been a loooong time since I tangled with quadratic equations, but (on the 2nd watch) this did actually make sense to me. I always thought that with…
click here for more.

Limited Run : Neon Colour Range I was tinkering with these colours a while back... and then someone with exceptional taste and style made a big order for a whole range of coloured ones... and every one was all "ooh!!!" So I made some for the local art gallery - and they all sold as well. So I made enquiries about getting a lot more…
click here for more.

New Product Videos

I'm putting together a series of product videos... one for each of the 10 or so different calipers that I make. [br]They will all look kindof the same... they're mainly for embedding in shop pages and so on. Because they'll all look kindof the same, I've made a separate youtube channel so subscribers don't lose their minds with boredom.…
click here for more.
Select your currency
USD United States (US) dollar
EUR Euro