Beauty Can be Explained by Proportions

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Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s also in the numbers!

Beauty can be explained by the angles, contours, curves and proportions of the face that work in harmony to create the concept of beauty. If a man or woman’s face is in good proportion, we are more likely to notice it and find it beautiful.

It is the skeletal structure of the face that determines these proportions. This is why facial plastic surgeons like Dr. Bass spend considerable time analyzing patients’ bone structure and facial features before recommending improvements. Using ratio analysis, Dr. Bass might determine that while a patient initially thought she needed a rhinoplasty, the best solution might just be a chin implant! Of course, it is up to the patient to decide which procedures to undergo, but patients should understand that the surgeon's advice is based on sound principles.

One principle used commonly by Dr. Bass and other facial plastic surgeons is that the face can be divided into equal thirds. This concept is based on the mathematics of the golden proportion devised by the Greek mathematician Eudoxus. The theory has since been used extensively throughout art and architecture. Pythagoras determined that this formula could also be used as the basis for portions of the human figure.

2,000 years later, Leonardo da Vinci used this golden proportion to show that the face should be divided into three equal horizontal spaces. Aesthetic balance is achieved when the facial features fall within these parameters.

To determine the thirds, the face is divided into three sections by drawing horizontal lines through the forehead hairline, the brow, the base of the nose and the lower margin of the chin. For the ideal face, the three sections are equal.

Balance in the face transcend ethnic and cultural differences, so one of the first steps Dr. Bass takes when analyzing a patient’s face is studying the balance among facial features.

One way to begin this is to measure full-face symmetry. Symmetry of face is rarely perfect, but midline points should lie along a vertical line that splits the face. By dividing the face in halves and then fifths, a facial plastic surgeon can assess balance and symmetry. The ideal face should be five times the width of one eye. The space between the two eyes should be the width of one eye. The width of the nose should not extend beyond the lines drawn down from the inner corners of the eyes.

When a patient is considering facial plastic surgery, Dr. Bass will also evaluate the five major masses:

  1. forehead
  2. eyes
  3. nose
  4. lips
  5. chin

Among the factors he considers are:

  • the nasofrontal angle
  • the brow in relation to the nose and eyes
  • the distances between the eyes and between the pupils of the eyes
  • the tip projection of the nose
  • the length of the chin.


Dr. Bass possesses highly developed artistic sensibilities regarding beauty and facial structure. He studies faces and keeps up to date on current styles of beauty. Dr. Bass also considers racial and ethnic differences when determining the best look for each patient’s face. He uses his specialized knowledge of the head and neck area combined with his ethnic sensibilities to determine how to create the best look for each patient. Additionally, he considers bone structure and skin color, texture and elasticity.

Yes, Penelope Cruz, Cate Blanchett and Christy Turlington all have the proportions of classic beauty and so can you, but remember that it is the beauty from inside that enhances the qualities of a beautiful face.  If you are really gorgeous inside, it will show on the outside.

Article by
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon