Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but humans do share some universal preferences when it comes to finding members of the opposite sex attractive. For example, tall, muscular men — regardless of race or ethnicity — tend to be rated at a higher level of attractiveness; and women are often labelled attractive based on how big their eyes, how tiny their waists, and how full their breasts and lips are.

One academic from the U.K., Dr. Chris Solomon of the University of Kent (who also happens to be an expert in visual profiling), decided to tackle what it means to be an “ideal beauty.” He wanted to make a visual guide to the most beautiful man and woman in the world, but I think it’s safe to say that his results probably just convey the most beautiful man and woman in the UK.

Using technology that is normally used to create photo compilations of wanted criminals, Solomon designed 100 different facial profiles based on the results of a survey that asked people to rate the most attractive features in a person: such as nose size, full lips, or hair style/color. People were then asked to rate each of these 100 faces. For the lady, the ideal face is an Emma Stone or Natalie Portman look-a-like with thick, striking eyebrows, a heart-shaped head and lush lips. And for the male, a strong jawline, rustic stubble, and dark hair seem to epitomize beauty.

The study, Solomon says, shows “some interesting results about what Brits consider to be the epitome of beauty.”

Of course, the two chosen samples are both white and Caucasian-looking. It’s likely this is the case because both the survey and the profiling was done in the UK, which isn’t too racially or ethnically diverse compared to other parts of the globe. “It’s important to note that these are the idealized faces according to those living in the UK, so a study in Asia or Africa, for example, would no doubt have different results,” Solomon said.

Physical attraction is complicated and varies across all human cultures, eras, and individual preferences (hence the fact that beauty is subjective). Some things are pretty universal: Scientifically, women tend to prefer masculine features and men who are taller than they are (usually a symbol of high testosterone, strength and sexual prowess); men tend to be attracted to women who are shorter than they are, have fuller lips, symmetrical faces, and large breasts (symbols of high estrogen levels and thus high fertility). Scientifically and evolutionarily, we prefer people whose features promise us reliable reproduction options: healthy, attractive, and strong children.

But beauty goes beyond reproduction. Beauty is also about the way a person thinks, the way they walk, and the way they interact with others. For a better, more realistic and diverse view on beauty around the globe, check out photographer Mihaela Noroc’s series called “The Atlas Of Beauty.” After travelling to 37 countries with very limited funds, Noroc photographed hundreds of women on all the different continents, hoping to give people a better view as to how beauty is perceived across cultural borders.

Tibetan Plateau, China
Tibetan Plateau, China Mihaela Noroc
Romania Mihaela Noroc
Colombian woman in Ecuador
Colombian woman in Ecuador Mihaela Noroc
Ethiopia Mihaela Noroc

“Now I can say that beauty is everywhere, and it’s not a matter of cosmetics or sizes but more about being yourself,” Noroc said about her project.

Indeed, while Solomon’s profiles may be attractive, beauty is a wide spectrum of ideals rather than one limited ideal.