The images of the ‘ideal’ man and woman have been produced by artificial intelligence and the results are actually quite concerning.
The AI images were created using engagement analytics on social media data, using tools to look at billions of images of humans.
The findings were monitored by The Bulimia Project, an eating disorder awareness group, and they have warned that the image results are ‘largely unrealistic’ in the depictions of body types.
It doesn't take long to see why the images could be so damaging and problematic for anyone who isn't a tanned, toned caucasian person.
For starters, the images for both men and women show a bias for olive skin tones, while the images of women tended to have a bias towards blonde hair and brown eyes, and for men the bias was towards brown hair and brown eyes.
The hair colour results are not the only thing that have raised eyebrows after the release of the findings.
The study conducted by the Bulimia Project using Dall-E 2, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney, also found that the AI’s collection of social media-inspired images were far more ‘sexually charged’ than the images found elsewhere on the internet.
For women, 37 percent of the AI-generated images had blonde hair and 53 percent of the images produced included women with olive skin.
Meanwhile, the image of the ideal male body featured big muscular bodybuilder men, with muscles that also appear to have muscles, ripped six packs and extra tight t-shirts.
For men, 67 percent of the AI-generated images included brown hair, while 63 percent of the images showed tanned skin, showing a clear preference for men with darker hair and medium-tone skin.
After using AI to analyse the images social media presents as the ideal man and woman, The Bulimia Project then asked AI to share its perspective based on images from across the internet.
For the ‘perfect’ man in 2023, the AI images showed images of men with facial hair and mostly with brown eyes and hair.
For the same prompt used when searching for images of the ‘perfect’ woman, the results had images of women with brown eyes, brown hair and tanned skin.
"Considering that social media uses algorithms based on which content gets the most lingering eyes, it's easy to guess why AI's renderings would come out more sexualised,” The Bulimia Project said.
"But we can only assume that the reason AI came up with so many oddly shaped versions of the physiques it found on social media is that these platforms promote unrealistic body types, to begin with."
Featured Image Credit: The Bulimia Project