Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

News  |  Journals  |  Conferences  |  Opinion  |  Articles  |  Forums  |  Twitter    
Category: Dermatology | Pediatrics | Psychiatry | Medical Students | News

Back to Health News

Facial Symmetry May Be Best Beauty Secret

Last Updated: December 21, 2009.

Average ratio of features seems to be the key to physical attractiveness, study finds.


Average ratio of features seems to be the key to physical attractiveness, study finds

Share |

Comments: (0)




MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Women with facial proportions that are closest to average are considered the most beautiful by their peers, research suggests.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the University of Toronto asked college students to view digital photos of women's faces that were identical except for slight alterations in certain facial proportions, including placement of the eyes and the relationship between the eyes and mouth.

Female faces that followed certain proportions were judged more attractive by their peers -- specifically, a vertical distance between the eyes and mouth that's 36 percent of facial length, and a horizontal distance between the eyes that's 46 percent of facial width. Researchers are calling it a "golden ratio."

Though it is unknown why faces that follow these proportions are considered lovelier, researchers say one theory is that humans have a mental prototype that represents an average of all faces and those that are closest to it are considered the most appealing. Previous research has shown that those with symmetrical faces are also perceived as more beautiful, possibly because the symmetry indicates good health. It is possible that evolutionary biology dictates that average faces are viewed in much the same way, the study authors noted.

So does this mean women shouldn't bother with cosmetics and appointments at the salon?

Not so fast, the study authors noted.

"We already know that different facial features make a female face attractive -- large eyes, for example, or full lips," said study co-author Kang Lee, a professor at University of Toronto and the director of the Institute of Child Study at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. "Our study conclusively proves that the structure of faces -- the relation between our face contour and the eyes, mouth and nose -- also contributes to our perception of facial attractiveness. Our finding also explains why sometimes an attractive person looks unattractive or vice versa after a haircut, because hairdos change the ratios."

Since only white female faces were included, the authors noted that there may be a different set of ideal proportions for other racial groups, male faces or children's faces.

The study was released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Vision Research.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has tips for looking better and feeling better.

SOURCE: University of California, San Diego and University of Toronto, news release, Dec. 16. 2009

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Previous: Depressed People Can't Hold Onto Happiness Next: Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.

Submit your opinion:





Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?


Useful Sites
  Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us
Copyright © 2001-2017
Doctors Lounge.
All rights reserved.

Medical Reference:
Diseases | Symptoms
Drugs | Labs | Procedures
Software | Tutorials

Links | Humor
Forum Archive
CME | Conferences

Privacy Statement
Terms & Conditions
Editorial Board
About us | Email

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.