“Beauty is in the phi of the beholder.”
It has long been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and thought that beauty varies by race, culture or era. The evidence, however, shows that our perception of physical beauty is hard wired into our being and based on how closely the features of one’s face reflect phi in their proportions. The Golden Ratio appears extensively in the human face, as demonstrated in a 2009 university study on attractiveness and as illustrated by the video below of Florence Colgate, Britain’s “Most Perfect Face” of 2012, :
The image analysis shown in the video was done with
PhiMatrix Golden Ratio Design and Analysis Software
But let’s take a deeper look yet at beauty based on analysis of the evidence.
A template for human beauty is found in phi and the pentagon
Dr. Stephen Marquardt has studied human beauty for years in his practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Dr. Marquardt performed cross-cultural surveys on beauty and found that all groups had the same perceptions of facial beauty. He also analyzed the human face from ancient times to the modern day. Through his research, he discovered that beauty is not only related to phi, but can be defined for both genders and for all races, cultures and eras with the beauty mask which he developed and patented. This mask uses the pentagon and decagon as its foundation, which embody phi in all their dimensions. For more information and other examples, see his site at Marquardt Beauty Analysis.
The Marquardt Beauty Mask
|1350 B.C. Egypt||500 B.C. Greece|
|164 A.D. Rome||1794 A.D.|
Click on the image below to watch an independently-created Youtube video showing the Marquardt Beauty Mask being applied in Photoshop with rather amazing results:
Details on applying the Marquardt Beauty Mask to your own photo can be found at “You and the Mask” page of his site, using the downloadable female masks shown with permission below. Click on image for full size version.
Variations and other factors in beauty
Even with a perfectly proportioned face though, there are endless variations in coloring and the shapes within this fundamental facial structure found in the Marquardt Beauty Mask. Variations in each facial feature (eyes, eyebrows, lips, nose, etc.) give rise to the distinctive appearance of each race and provide for endless variations in beauty that are as unique as each individual. The human face also communicates an incredible array of emotions which are an integral element of one’s total beauty. The human face creates more phi elements in its appearance when we smile. You’ll be perceived as more beautiful with a warm smile than with a cold-hearted look of anger, arrogance or contempt.
Interestingly, symmetry in the face does not necessarily equate to beauty. Many, if not most, faces that are perceived as beautiful are usually not even close to being perfect in symmetry of the left and right sides. Perfect symmetry tends to result in a face that appears unnatural, animated or robot-like.
Other factors influence perceptions of beauty as well, including skin tone, health and age.
More importantly, the application of the golden ratio to beauty refers only to physical beauty, and that is only one element of what defines true beauty in humans. The saying “beauty is only skin deep” reflects this. Physical beauty is fleeting and passes with time. Other qualities of the mind and soul are the substance of true beauty. These include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, to quote from the Bible in Galatians 5:22-23. Our inner beauty is reflected in many ways, through our creative works, expressions of thought, compassion, friendship and acts of service for others. So while Hollywood and fashion magazines may trumpet physical beauty, true beauty in the human experience and the things that lead us to love and be loved are found in a beauty that runs much deeper, and that ultimately impacts physical beauty as well.
Note: The Marquardt Beauty Mask illustrations above are copyright 2001 by Dr. Stephen Marquardt at Marquardt Beauty Analysis and are used by permission.See also the page on Facial Beauty and the New Golden Ratio and the site at BeautyCheck.de.