News (USA)

This is the average face of the United States Congress

This is the average face of the United States Congress
Composite of all faces in Congress (left), and Democrat Chris Van Hollen (right), who our analysis suggested was the Senator with most similar features.Photo: Giuseppe Sollazzo/BBC

The BBC took photos of every sitting member of Congress and ran them through a computer to create a composite image of our legislators. Unsurprisingly, that face is overwhelmingly white and male.

While the entire article is fascinating with detailed information about how the photo was composed and the history of using composite photography and what can be politically extrapolated from them, the most interesting portion of the segment comes when they approach Senators with the photo to get their reactions.

White male senator after white male senator dismisses the photo with none showing more than cursory interest in it or what it indicates about America’s elected officials. But then the TV crew goes outside to talk to constituents instead of the elected.

As you can imagine, they had a whole different point of view.

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