Facial Beauty and Balance
Why is symmetry important?
In artist portraits from Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gough to William Hogarth, facial symmetry and the proportions of the face, play a key role in natural beauty. According to recent scientific research, symmetry represents the concept of proportionality. In this context, averageness means lacking distinct or dramatic features. By some people being “more average” than others, they become more attractive.
Why is attractiveness an important evolutionary advantage?
It appears that most people, no matter their ethnicity, are hard-wired to be attracted to faced that are both proportional and average. The reason for this attraction is that a well proportioned and symmetrical face is associated with a potential mate who has better ability to fight off diseases and who would “pass on this fitness advantage to future offspring.” People with stronger features and asymmetry, including those in the prime of their reproductive years, are less attractive as they believed to have poorer genes and health. Science has shown us that attractive faces activate reward centers in the brain, they motivate sexual behavior and the development of friendships and they elicit positive personality attributions.
Is there any scientific evidence to back up symmetry?
People are attracted to faces regarded as both beautiful and handsome with a good genetic profile based on scientific principles. Researchers have identified a direct correlation between “attractive” faces and the diversity in those individual’s genetic makeup, their Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC). A MHC is one of the principal determinants in a person’s tissue type. Tissue type plays an important role in the immune system and diversity may be a predictor of reproductive success. Researchers have combined photos of multiple people and found the composite blended image, with smoothed out features and reduced irregularities to be more attractive.
Characteristics of the different sexes?
Characteristics of attraction can be common to both men and women such as symmetry. Sexual dimorphism, defines the physical differences between males and females of the species, and accounts for the characteristics that make men masculine and women feminine. In woman, large eyes, small chins, high cheekbones, and larger lips are attractive features that imply health and fertility. In men, pronounced brows, thin lips, and strong chins make a person more attractive. However all of these features are within the limits of attractiveness, a very prominent chin such as Jay Leno, may then result in facial in-balance and reduced attractiveness.
These physical facial features which many artists, producers and marketers have exploited over years to create the archetypical leading men and women in advertising and media.
Can any facial proportions be used to evaluate facial beauty?
The Rule of Thirds. Leonardo da Vinci’s facial thirds extend from the hairline to the glabella line (eyebrows), the brow to the base of the nose, and the base of the nose to the chin. In a well-proportioned and attractive face the resulting thirds are equal.
The Rule of Fifths
Vertical lines drawn at the outside and inside corners of the eyes, and at the outside of both ears results in the face being vertically divided into fifths. In a well-proportioned and attractive face the resulting fifths are equal.
The Golden Ratio Face
A Californian surgeon theorized that humans have imprinted in its genetic code an archetypical image of what its fellow people should look like. The closer a person comes to matching that subconscious ideal of attractiveness, the more positive emotional response will be engendered in the viewer. Using this research led to a human archetype can be mapped mathematically put forward his controversial Facial Mask based on the Golden Ratio (1:1.62). Since the 16th century, many artists and architects have proportioned their works to approximate the golden ratio, believing this proportion to be aesthetically natural and beautiful. The Golden Decagon Matrix, a two-dimensional figure, correlates with the shape of B-DNA , the most common form of DNA found in nature. Within the shape of the Golden Decagon Matrix, forty-two secondary golden decagon matrices, each smaller than the Primary by a multiple of the Golden Ratio. These have been overlaid on the human face, and when the extra lines removed, the resulting image gives rise to a Mask, composed of line segments and shapes that relate to each other through the Golden or Divine Proportion (1:1.62). The Golden Ratio Mask has been superimposed onto photographs of people regarded as the top models, most beautiful women and handsome men.
Limitations of Facial Proportions and Modeling.
Critics of the proportional rules of Thirds and Fifths, and The Golden Ratio Mask highlight a bias towards European Caucasian Faces and that there is no absolute universal mask for beauty as some faces regarded as attractive do not fit the mask. Brad Pitt, is considered to by many a handsome man, has characteristics that include a prominent jaw and lengthened chin that fall outside the parameters the Golden Ratio Mask.
Woman’s beauty is often enhanced by facial movement and adds to attractiveness. Men, often have less expression on facial movement and rely more on their physical traits such as prominent jaw.
Symmetry and proportion are more attractive than distinct or stand-out features, demonstrated by caricatures. Variations from the perceived norm can be attractive, as long as the variations fall along the lines of femininity in women and masculinity in men.
What are the keys to facial beauty?
We know from a number of scientific studies that facial beauty can be principally defined by several fundamentals.
The first is a preference for averageness and symmetry, i.e. the proximity to a spatially average face for a population.
The second is a preference for sexual dimorphism, i.e., for feminine traits in female faces and masculine traits in male faces.
The third is a preference for youth and an absence of features of facial ageing
The forth is a combination of expression and facial features that characterize a person e.g. shyness, competitiveness, demur.
Why are these keys to facial beauty important in cosmetic surgery?
Any cosmetic procedure changes your facial balance, proportions, and facial characteristics that favour masculine and female traits, all the elements that are key to facial beauty. Dr. De Silva recognizes the different components and features that make a face beautiful or handsome and may recommend a procedure that will give a great result. Commonly patients seeking rhinoplasty (nose re-shaping) may not be aware that on side profile they have a small chin. A small chin may become more prominent once the nose is complementary to the person’s face. Dr. De Silva advises his patients on conservative measures to give them the best possible result they are looking for.