Is there mathematics to beauty? Research suggests there is. The golden ratio, or golden proportion, refers to a geometric relationship that produces an aesthetically pleasing effect, or what we might term “a harmonious beauty.” Often expressed in nature, the golden ratio seems to play a significant role in human perception of beauty. Throughout history and across cultures, artists and architects have pursued this geometric ideal in their compositions. From the design of buildings to the patterning of textiles, our eyes seem to be drawn to the balance between symmetry and asymmetry–as shaped according to the golden proportion. But can this mathematical analysis of the beauty of nature and objects be applied to the human face, especially given the marvel of our ethnic diversity?
The Marquardt Theory posits that perceptions of beauty are consistent across cultures and races. Based on extensive research, the data point to the conclusion that the perception of human beauty is linked to how closely a person’s facial features reflect the golden proportions.
The perfect nose is, of course, a relative term. Our individual facial anatomy and bone structure give each one of us a unique look; a feature that looks congruous on one face may look radically out of place on another. The Marquardt theory does not describe a set of perfectly formed features; rather it elucidates how we define attractiveness in terms of the whole. Assessing how the nose and other facial features relate proportionally to each other is the first step in the quest for an ideal nose. In general, the greater the symmetry of the face, the more likely we are to regard it as beautiful.
As a visual aid, the Marquardt Mask can be used as a template to evaluate how all features work together. When placed over a photo, the diagram can help guide the work of cosmetic surgeons, especially specialists who perform plastic surgery on the nose (rhinoplasty). An expert in rhinoplasty will not only consider the form of the nose in relation to the rest of the face, but also how the parts of the nose complement each other, in particular the relationship between the nasal bridge and nasal tip. Although a “perfect nose” can vary in shape, some characteristics, such as a straight bridge and appropriate nasal projection, are typically accepted as more aesthetically appealing.
The Differences Between Male and Female Noses
Another factor to consider in describing the perfect nose is gender. Certain features can make a face appear more masculine or feminine. For instance, the shape of the face, the density of the eyebrows, and the contour of the cheekbones all influence whether we see a face as male or female.
The male nose is often characterized by angular, sharp edges and straight lines. These angles give a chiseled appearance, complementing other facial angles (a strong jaw bone, for example).
Unlike the strong, angular traits associated with the male nose, the female nose tends to be less striking. On a female face, the objective would be to downplay the visual prominence of the nose. By minimizing the definition and depth of the bridge of the nose, for instance, less emphasis is placed on the nose. Instead, attention is drawn to the lips and eyes. Balancing the details of the nostril shape and the tip also contribute to a more feminine appearance of the nose.
When choosing a cosmetic surgeon, it is important to seek somebody who has a keen eye for the subtleties and details and appreciates the variations in beauty. Dr. Morin understands that although symmetry is desirable, is does not automatically equal attractiveness. During your consultation, Dr. Robert Morin will discuss your aesthetic goals and work with you to visualize an appropriate, perfect nose for your face–one that not only improves your profile, but also enhances your other unique features.
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