Archive for the ‘Body Image Maths’ Category


How They Photoshop Supermodel Pics: THE MATH

June 13, 2019

Women’s Magazines have a strange kind of logic. On the one hand they push the philosophy ‘love yourself’, ‘love who you are’ and then they provide 365 pages showing you how to change every bit of yourself including your hair, eyebrows, pubic hair, tan, weight, skin tone, fitness, nose shape, career, boobs, how-to-hook him techniques and so on. Marie Claire, Australia, is no different. Nevertheless, I adopt the policy that these magazines are a bit of frou-frou fluff that women find entertaining. If girls and women want to beat themselves up with impossible goals then that is their right. But there are limits and the January edition, 2010 of Marie Claire is a classic.

Claiming to support real women and real body sizes Marie Claire ran a survey to see which body size 6,8, 10, 12, 14 or 16 was preferred by the Australian public.

Firstly, these surveys involve meaningless maths because they use  SELF SELECTING SAMPLES.  Nevertheless, there she is, the most popular choice, Size 12 or Ms 59%.

Keep flipping through the magazine, however, and you will find a shopping guide very common in these magazines. Have a look at the model (below)???? Do alarm bells ring?? Let’s do the maths, mathspigs.


Look at the pictures (above). The waist to hip measurement is the same for each model namely 20mm.  I’ve scaled up the images by factor of 10 (below) so that:

Waist to hip = 200mm.

Now, look at the leg lengths!!!!!!!!


Who is this model? Alice in Wonderland? Her legs are 89% longer than a girl with the same waist to hip length or have her legs been digitally stretched by 89%?

Teachers, I urge you to ask girls to bring in women’s/girl’s magazines to do some similar maths. To check if a model’s legs have been digitally stretched you can use the hip to knee and knee to ankle ratio which should be close to 1:1. We have to help girls develop a visual sense of proportion. And the maths quantifies this critical thinking. Rather than girls concentrating on booster bras boosting brains makes more sense.


9. You’re All gonna Die 2

June 13, 2013

Fat people got no reason

Fat people got no reason

Fat people got no reason

To live

They got big fat hands

Thunder thighs

They plod around

Puffin’ great big sighs

They got littler brains

They got damn iffy backs

They sit on their arses

Asking for heart attacks.

(With apologies to Randy Newman) 

fat people 1

 We are told there is an Obesity Epidemic as if you can catch obesity by standing beside someone packing a bit of cellulite.

If you have to be removed by a crane to get to hospital then you have a health problem. But obesity is presented in the media with such hysteria we could call it a NEGATIVE BIAS. The statistics are rarely questioned. And sometimes, these stats are not so damning.

Take diabetes and obesity statistics. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes.  True.

According to Australian Healthy Weight Week website, an affiliate of the Dieticians Association of Australia, 61% of Australian adults are overweight. Meanwhile, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare puts the prevalence of diabetes in Aussie adults at 4.4% (all forms). Now wrap your head around this number. Even if all the 4.4% of  Aussies with diabetes  were overweight (they’re not), then 92.8% of fat people in Australia don’t have diabetes. But we still think fat people are evil.

fat people 2

They take up too much space

And breathe too much air

They stuff food in their faces

They don’t even care.


Make them fly freight on planes

They’re such a disgrace

 They should keep indoors

Let thin people run the place.


Fat people got nobody

Fat people got nobody

Fat people got nobody

To love them … (except me, I guess.)


The Manly Mo Maths … or Gaga Graphs 2

July 13, 2011
















Who would have thought, mathspigs, that there was so much maths in hair.


Today’s post looks at the Majestic Moustache or the Manly Mo and moustache graphs.


Here are Mathspig’s two favourite moustache graphs.

First, is the Moustache and the Decline of the British-Empire or 100-Year Itch @ TWC, which includes a pictorial record of the moustaches decline.

The second graph is from the American Mustache Institute* showing the decline in corporate reputation with the decline in the popularity of the mo with PR professionals.

THESE ARE HILARIOUS GRAPHS, but they are Gaga or Made Up Graphs.

How does Mathspig know this?

Because of the numbers.  The Y-axis scale is missing or irrelevant to the graphs shown.

These graphs are a bit of fun, but graphs are used to sell you products and some graphs can be totally misleading.

See Graphs for the Lost and Bewildered

Mathspig, promised you Manly Mo Maths. And there is Maths in MOs.

Nick Cave’s Mo is a Parabola.

John Travolta’s Mo is also a parabola.

The Village People all parabola MOs.

Captain Jack Sparrow’s

 beard is ∏ !!!!




Goodness me, it’s a Tom Selleck  Eyebrow Mo Sierpinski Gasket



Not all MOs are real and Groucho Marx trade mark eyebrows & mo were painted on.

Why not get your own Manly Mo.

Or, mathspig teachers,  get your class to draw ‘parabolas’ on their hands and if a member of staff has a mo invite him into the maths class then on the count of three show him the whole class of ‘parabolas’

*If you love that moustache talk here is an American Mustache Institute Interview:


GaGa Graphs

July 12, 2011

Today’s subject, mathspigs, is hairy.


Yes! WE are looking at hair graphs.


Some hair graphs are based on science,measuring and plotting.


This is a real graph involving real maths. It is a plot of hair regrowth VS time graph using a hair growth agent. There are scientists out there somewhere actually counting hairs per sq cm.

More info @ NHS CHOICES website.


Some graphs are FUNNY but FAKE






These graphs use fake maths and fake numbers.

So mathspigs, watch out for the gaga graphs. They’re everywhere.

Here is a FAKE HAIR GRAPH. The hair is real. The graph is fake.



This chart can be found @ SMOSH.

In fairness to EMOs everywhere,

Mathspig thinks we need a few more

pie charts for other HAIR GROUPS.

Here is Mathspig’s Fake Graph :


57 % Suffer severe hair whiplash injury to groin.

19% Can belch the National Anthem.

17% Don’t realise they are dating their brother.

7%  Suffer Obsessive Compulsive Air Guitar Addiction.

You can make your own funny pie chart @ Free Graphs

Don’t forget it’s a jungle of hair out there and sometimes hair can be dangerous.

Here is an YouTube animation called The Danger of Hair


Jumping Hair Gel or Sticky Maths

May 17, 2011

Eurovison 2011

Here are JEDWARD, the ex X-Factor, UK,


identical twin contestants who have morphed into super


hair-gelled stars of Eurovision 2011.

Jumping Hair Gel, there is a lot of maths in hair products!!!!!



  There are all sorts of instruments for testing hair gel.

 It must be tested so that the same product is produced each time.

  This piece of equipment tests the ‘stiffness’ of hair gels. You can find a lot more hair product test equipment at the manufacturers.


The hair gel and mousse market is worth $US 581 million in USA alone.


  Hair gel contains polymers (long chain molecules) and alcohol. The alcohol dries off leaving the polymer clinging to the hair strand which consists of  long stands of proteins. The hair gel seals in the moisture making the hair firm. 


This piece of equipment tests the stiffness of hair gel on hair. Cosmetic chemists make up the product formulas, test the products and produce graphs like the one below.


Note: Hair gel becomes more floppy in humid conditions. RH is relative humidity.

You will find this graph and more information at the Styling Technology website.




You can see from this early photo that Jedwards’ hair is growing fast.

So, mathspigs, when will their hair be taller than Jedward?


We can work it out!


Jedward Height (according to Jedward) = 5ft 11 inch = 180 cm


Measuring Jedward on the Left in photo above:


Jedward Hair Height in pic= 1.7 cm


Jedward hairline to chin length in pic = 3.2 cm


Jedward hairline to chin in real life = 19.1 cm*


Jedward hair height in real life = x cm


*This measurement is the 50 percentile or median of hairline to chin measurements for adult males.

Jedward hair height = 10.1 cm


Jedward Height = 180 cm


When will Jedwards’ hair be taller than Jedward?


We must know something about hair growth.According to Tom Dawson of Procter & Gamble, the hair growth cycle for young, healthy scalps,involves  hair typically growing for three years then stopping  and remaining dormant for three months. You’ll find more information at the Happi website (Household and personal products industry)


Hair growth rate = 1.25 cm per month


But hair grows on average only 11 out of12 months:

Assuming Jedwards hair just keeps growing


and hair gel just keeps getting stronger then


Jedwards hair would be as tall as Jedward


in 12 years time!!!!!! 


Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!! That’s spooky.


Killer Heels that Kill!!!

August 25, 2010


The way we humans walk is very complex. We’ll just look at the centre of gravity.

When the centre of Gravity of any object

passes over its base it falls over.


We humans walk by falling over. We use one foot as a leaver to push our centre of gravity slightly upward and forward over our foot. If the other foot didn’t swing forward we would fall over.


High heels make walking difficult for woman for many reasons.

They cause problems with knee joints and back pain. High heels put extra stress on the ball of the foot and also cause foot calluses from increased pressure on the front and side of the foot. Research shows stilletto wearers are walking a dangerous line ( 1o th August 2010 Herald Sun )That’s the good news.

High heels make the wearer unstable. High heels raise your Centre of Gravity and narrow your base. (See Diag: Each foot forms the hypotenuse of a triangle.) Mathspig noticed many girls in Europe – Nice, Cannes and Corsica – walking in extra high stiletto heels down very, very steep slopes and they were struggling.

The problem involves SIMPLE GEOMETRY.  Look at the high heels below.  I’ve included a range of angles as the foot is bent in a high heel shoe so I”m covering all bases. Literally.

Now put these shoes on and stand on a hill with a 30-degree slope.

You can see the resulting angles (slope plus high-heel) range from 62-degrees to 83-degrees. When you move forward down a hill in high heels you are VIRTUALLY throwing yourself off a cliff with each step.

We walk by falling a little with each footstep.  When you walk down a slope you fall sooner and further. This SOONER, FURTHER, SOONER, FURTHER… momentum gets you swinging each foot forward faster and faster to stop yourself falling.  You may end up running down the hill.

If you are walking down hill and also wearing high heels this is the point your friends yell ‘Gooood byyyyye!!!!’ as you are unstable, have less muscle control – your foot muscles have limited up-and-down movement – and you have reduced friction -the ball of the foot only – to stop yourself slipping.

Of course, walking up hill in high heels should be easy!!!!!


UPDATE: 26 March 2012

Here is an image I never thought I’d see. 

On the 17 March 2012  The AGE (see pic above) published a report on MODEL WOBBLES ON THE CATWALK. During Fashion Week in Melbourne models, who got the wobbles had to stop walking and take off their high high-heel shoes. Why? Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. If models can’t wear high high heel shoes why would any girl? The one skill models do have is the ability to walk in high heels. 


Make me feel real loose like a long legged goose!!!

May 4, 2010

Everyone knows that women’s magazine editors digitally alter photographs of models that appear in their mags. When I finally did the maths I was shocked.  See: Odd Bods in Marie Claire

This model had legs 89% longer than a standard size 12 model in the same edition of the magazine and with the same waist to hip measurement! Looking at this model made the standard size 12 model look like a dumpy little garden gnome. Looking at these images distorts our view of normal body sizes or anything close to it.

Models can be given the appearance of long legs by the angle of the camera (Looking up at the model on the catwalk, for instance), by wearing extra high stiletto heels and/or by wearing bathing costumes with high cut legs. Then photo editors use photoshop to stretch their legs.

While pictures of male models may be digitally altered to remove skin blemishes, body hair and add abs, it seems to me that their legs are not digitally stretched and certainly not by 89%! But we have this 89% number now and we should use it.

So Mathspigs here are some male celebrities with a standard pic and then with their legs – from the hip down – stretched by 89%.

This was very simple maths. I used photoshop to edit the pictures and set their legs at a 189% vertical stretch. 

Check the maths:

Standard leg length = 100%

Vertical Stretch        = 89%


Look at these pics and you decide if they look OK or ridiculous. I cannot decide for you. But I have thrown in the pics of the horse and the giraffe just to show how the practise of digitally stretching models images distorts reality. 

Here we go mathspigs. Lets play STRETCH LIMBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zac Efron

Maybe these

long legs would

help his

dancing, but…..  if he did the splits he’d never get up again.

Robert Pattison


Edward Cullen

in the Twilight series. See TWILIGHT MATHS II

Edward is an ethical vampire

at this height he’d have to chase giraffes.

Justin Beiber

As my photoshop leg stretching skills improved

I found that

our eye begins to accept legs stretched

from the top of the thigh but not higher up the body.

Check out these stretch-horses.

Both images have legs stretched by

89% but the second horse has been stretched from the mid-body point down. Now look at the normal horse. It looks like it has SHORT legs!!!!!!! These images have distorted our sense of reality.

Here are some sports stars.

Sam Gilbert plays Aussie Rules football 


PS: Mathspigs dad and two Uncles played for St Kilda.

My Dad broke his leg when he ran into the goal post. 

They sent him off to hospital using the local bus!!

This was along time ago.

My dad


two uncles

are in the

St Kilda team





Heath Grundy 


Aussie Rules 




Sydney Swans.


 Usain Bolt

 We would like to believe that Usain Bolt has long,

long legs.

 However he doesn’t need legs as long as the stretch photo suggest.

He is already the world’s fastest runner.


  The giraffe looks quite reasonable with extra long legs.

 Then again you could argue that

the real giraffe shape

is weird.

Now for a few rock stars.

 This is Vampire Weekend.

 The long Weekend is  Left.


Cut Off your Hands UNCUT is Right.

 This is the rock group GRIZZLY BEAR.

Look at the way our eye works.

Look at the guy in the shorts. His leg has been extended from the knee down. Looks wrong.

The guy in the black pants legs look OK even though extended 89%.

The guy squatting is totally distorted as his whole body and head have been stretched.

 Now you’ve seen a horse, a giraffe and a grizzly bear. 

Finally, a bit of fun.

Here are some fictional characters. 

Harry who???? The batman toy looks appears in proportion mainly because action figure toys are usually made with short muscly legs.


  – I used the standard 89% stretch here. I was hoping to give Spiderman legs like a spider.