Face It: What Makes Us Beautiful

The Science Behind the Beauty

Believe it or not, there is a method to the madness that is beauty, and many scientists have capitalized on figuring out exactly what it is.

According to a complex set of measurements and calculations, some researchers believe there are dimensions that, when followed, will create a perfect face. In fact, some scientists conducted research that showed people with the most symmetrical faces lose their virginity earlier, hinting at the idea that the more symmetrical your face, the more desirable you are.

The complex set of numbers and measurements hardly guide the fashion industry or even the medical profession, experts told ABC News. While these measurements are used as very loose guidelines for plastic surgeons, proportion -- and not precise symmetry -- is really the key to beauty.

"It's really about the proportions of the face, balance and the harmony of the face," said Dr. Sherrell J. Aston, professor of surgery at New York University. "General symmetry is important but not always there. It's not unusual to see one cheek bone a few millimeters flatter than the other."

"Beauty is not a mathematical equation," said Dr. John Canady, professor of plastic surgery at the University of Iowa. "The human body is not a block of marble or a piece of wood. It stretches and it movies and I'd be reluctant to apply a strict mathematical formula to it. It's a combination of an art and a science."

The Beauty Within

While great eyes and good skin are characteristics many photographers agree can't hurt, when asked how they define beauty some said that it is what's on the inside that means the most.

"The qualities of a beautiful face generally tend to come from a beautiful inside," said photographer Parry. "When someone is really gorgeous inside, it shows on the outside."

"It's a face that just very quickly makes a connection with who is looking at that face," said Zimbel, who has been a photographer for more than 60 years and documented many presidents, such as Harry Truman and Richard Nixon.

"Certain people seem to have some soul behind them or some old-fashioned sort of kindness that shows through," said fashion photographer McMullen.

"Some have a hard, bossy way about them that shines through and makes them seem not as attractive. Somehow, people who are happy to see you always look more beautiful," he added.

Ford, whose modeling agency made women like Christy Turlington famous, agrees that beauty really is a matter of a perspective.

"I think that right now more than at almost any other point in time there is a great diversity of looks that people consider beautiful," said Ford.

Beauty, it seems, really does lie in the eye of the beholder.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...