The general rule for beauty is that in order for something to be beautiful, there must be symmetry. You can see this clearly in architecture and nature, but it also extends to human beauty — just look at the world’s top influencers and models today.
And there’s actually math behind this symmetry. It’s called the golden ratio, it measures 1:1.618. It’s also generally applicable to everything, including your face.
Recently, Merz Aesthetics ran a competition to find the woman with the most beautifully, proportionate face in Singapore. Using a specially-built calipre (think a golden X) they demonstrated how her face was perfectly symmetrical. While I was impressed with Nurin Nisha M. Heallmy’s features, I didn’t really think it would be applicable to most.
So as a test, I decided to put my face (and my self-esteem) forward for Dr. Joyce Lim of Joyce Lim Skin and Laser Clinic to analyse and find out how symmetrical my face really was.
“Actually your face is very symmetrical,” said Dr. Lim the minute we sat down together. OK. That was unexpected especially given I’ve always been self-concious of my not-at-all symmetrical eyes. I said as much but Dr. Joyce got out her golden calipers for measuring to prove me wrong.
“Symmetry isn’t just about the ratio, it’s also about the angle of your face” she explained, “Most Asians have very flat faces, but for you, there is an inward angle created from your nose to your chin that adds to the symmetry.” The upper ⅓ (forehead to eyebrow), middle (eyebrow to nasal base) and lower ⅓ (nasal base to chin) should all be roughly the same size. Surprisingly, mine are.
I had originally budgeted a good two hours for the doctor to tell me all the things that were wrong with my face, but now that she had shattered those assumptions, I was a bit at a loss for what to do next. Dr. Lim continued to show me how the golden ratio works, never adjusting her calipers but proving that my face was roughly divided into thirds across (from cheek to cheek) as it was from forehead to chin.
Even particular facial features can be subject to symmetry-criticism. When Dr. Lim said that my lips are about the right size for my face, I protested saying they always seemed kind of big. Her explanation is that this of course, is all about proportions. Mine follows the golden ratio, but she said that for Asians, it tends to be smaller, and that most follow a more 1:1:1 ratio. This can be seen in lip sizes too. Most Asians have a lower and upper lip of the same size, while Caucasians follow the 1:1.618 rule.
There is also something called the E-line (the Esthetic line). Normall for Asians, as our faces are quite flat, this can be perfectly straight, but actually there should be a slight slant to it (so your nose should be further out than your chin).
So besides a slightly big nose (and definite wonky eye that Dr. Lim didn’t think was important) my face it turns out, is surprisingly symmetrical. One of the interesting things she pointed out, was that even though symmetry is generally associated with beauty, imperfections are also important, and shouldn’t be discounted when it comes to looking good. Whether that means your lips disporpotionally large to the rest of your face, or your eyes are too small, it doesn’t necessarily mean it makes you unattractive (scientifically).
The experience genuinely surprised me, I hadn’t expected it to come out from it with such positive results. We’ve all got insecurities about how we look, and I’m no exception. I’m definitely no supermodel, but it was nice to hear how symmetrical my face was. If nothing else I can now go around telling people that I’m beautiful — according to science — who wouldn’t want to be able to say that?
But also I think this proves is that it’s really not that hard to be symmetrical. And that can only be good for anyone who’s a little self concious or unsure about their looks.