Originally Posted by Xenon
Amen. I also believe this the reason why on average women have nicer feet then men.
Question: I thought I knew what fair curves signified, but now i have serious doubts. Can you describe? Give examples?
Well, I'm no mechanical or aeronautical engineer...although it is in this latter field that "fair curves" have their greatest contemporary currency.
So I will beg indulgence as I explain this in the terms I understand...and someone can correct me if I make a mistake.
I first ran across the concept of "fair curves" when I began turning wood. It was associated with the shapes of vases and the "golden mean." And, in another sense, the concept of vectors.
Essentially a "fair curve" is one in which there are no abrupt changes in the direction of a curving line. The shape of an airplane wing must
be a fair curve...any abrupt chance in direction will create an edge, a corner, and drag.
If you examine a last...and in particular one of the old highly regarded West End classics...you will see that there are no edges, no corners, except around the bottom of the last--the "feather." And some of the old lasts don't even have that. It's all curves.
A vector is a direction or even a measure of velocity in one direction. Any change in the acceleration/velocity, plus or minus, is going to cause a change of direction. Too abrupt a change and you get an awkward curve--one that doesn't seem coherent or doesn't "flow."
A French Curve can be an example of fair curves. But some French curves seem to incorporate awkward curves...whether intentionally or not, I cannot say. The best example of an accelerating "fair" curve might be a mathematically perfect spiral.
OK...now I'm getting myself into deeper water than I can swim in, and I think I will leave it to others.
Suffice it to say that even if your conscious mind does not register it, when we look at an object that is comprised of fair curves, the eye is beguiled; when we look at objects that fall short of that ideal...just as when we see a vase that does not conform to the "Golden Mean"...the eye and the subconscious are disturbed.
Enough of these deviations from fair curves or the Golden Mean, and it begins to add up...to ugly (that's why the foot is "ugly" as compared to say, a young woman's breast). And while that's my opinion...I believe that the case may be made that at some level it is also a universal sensibility.