Beauty Science: Facial Attractiveness

Written by Leanna Serras

The Biology of Facial Beauty

Scientists believe that humans are subconsciously attracted to people that they know will produce strong, healthy children. The human brain registers a highly compatible match as “attractive” because it senses that there’s a good possibility that the union will produce strong, healthy children - a biological imperative for human beings. In this light, the more handsome or beautiful a person is, the better the subconscious mind considers the genes a match, and the more likely people want to reproduce with him or her. It’s all about biology.

Facial Beauty and Culture

When people say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” it refers to the fact that people have different ideals of beauty. In terms of facial beauty, different cultures have different criteria for what’s beautiful, and it may be quite different from one culture to another. In a study conducted by the Department of Orthodontics at the University of the Pacific, Americans placed higher emphasis on “profile angle, chin prominence, lower lip prominence, and Z-angle” while the Chinese only placed higher emphasis on “Z-angle and chin prominence.”

Facial Attributes of Attractiveness

Facial beauty seems to be determined by divine proportion. Everything in the universe is based on a ratio of 1:1.618. The closer the human face is in that ratio between certain parts, the more attractive the person is. These parts include the corner of the mouth to the bottom of the chin, the corner of the mouth to the center of the eye and the corner of the nose to the bottom of the chin. If all of these are close to that magical 1:1.618 proportion, a person is considered very attractive. The eyes must be symmetrical and the nose must fit the same criteria.