• 05 Ιούν 2018
Is Beauty really Subjective?
It is commonly said that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and that it varies by race, culture or era. Yet, there is no doubt that certain facial features are rated more attractive by both men and women. Indeed, a smaller nose and chin, along with a larger distance between the eyes and a smaller mouth width are deemed desirable traits for women.
The evidence shows that our perception of physical beauty is hard-wired into our being and based on how closely the features of one’s face reflect phi in their proportions. The Golden Ratio (φ=1.618) appears extensively in the human face. The human face conforms most closely to phi proportions when we smile. You’ll be perceived as more beautiful with a warm smile than with a cold-hearted look of anger, arrogance or contempt. Furthermore, there are multiple inter-relations between facial features, e.g. the relation of the nose to the lips and chin (especially on profile view), which the more closely they approach a defined norm, the more aesthetically pleasing they are considered. Indeed, such relations are commonly utilized as a guide by plastic surgeons to favourably improve facial features using various procedures such as rhinoplasty, malaroplasty and blepharoplasty.
Scientists have recently used e-fits (a computer programme usually used to draw up e-fits of wanted criminals) to create portraits of the most beautiful man and woman in the world – and say famous British male model David Gandy and actress Natalie Portman are the closest real-life examples. The software takes into account factors including the thickness of lips, nose length and width, and hairline.
Even with a perfectly proportioned face though, there are endless variations in colouring and the shapes of each facial feature (eyes, eyebrows, lips, nose, etc.) that give rise to the distinctive appearance of each race and provide for endless variations in beauty that are as unique as each individual. The human face communicates an incredible array of emotions which are an integral element of one’s total beauty.
Interestingly, symmetry in the face does not necessarily equate to beauty. Many, if not most, faces that are perceived as beautiful are usually not even close to being perfect in symmetry of the left and right sides. For example, Angelina Jolie does not have golden length and width ratios. Elizabeth Hurley gets the golden ratio for length but is different from the width golden ratio by one per cent. Canadian country pop musician Shania Twain has both the length and width ratios. Florence Colgate, voted in 2012 as having the most beautiful face in Britain, also failed to meet both metrics.