What does the “perfect” female face look like?



In four experiments, we tested the existence of an ideal facial feature arrangement that could optimize the attractiveness of any face given its facial features. Participants made paired comparisons of attractive- ness between faces with identical facial features but different eye–mouth distances and different inter- ocular distances. We found that although different faces have varying attractiveness, individual attractiveness is optimized when the face’s vertical distance between the eyes and the mouth is approximately 36% of its length, and the horizontal distance between the eyes is approximately 46% of the face’s width. These ‘‘new” golden ratios match those of an average face.

Source: “New ‘‘golden” ratios for facial beauty” from Vision Research, Volume 50, Issue 2, 25 January 2010, Pages 149-154

That final sentence is interesting — and misleading. The most attractive face is the mathematical average, not normal-person-on-the-street definition of average. If yesterday was 100 degrees and today it’s 50 degrees, the average is 75 — even though neither day got anywhere near that temperature. They’re not saying these proportions are at all common. If they were, you’d be living in a Hollywood movie. Or maybe just Los Angeles.

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