The Science of Beauty

Beauty may seem to be in the eye of the beholder, but there’s actually a science behind it. In fact, scientists from Israel’s Tel Aviv University created an algorithm that morphs a face into its most scientifically beautiful version, as reported in The New York Times. Researchers have investigated what constitutes the “ideal” face for years, and they found that certain traits are universally deemed attractive. Read about what makes a scientifically “beautiful” face and how some people go to surgical extremes to achieve it, while some are born lucky, like James Franco — whose face needed no adjustment when tested against the “beauty” algorithm.

The symmetry of the face is one of the best indicators of attractiveness, according to Dr. Andrew A. Jacono, a board-certified facial and reconstructive plastic surgeon in New York City. When one side is the mirror image of the other, it signals health, strength and fertility. Denzel Washington’s mug, for example, is unusually symmetrical. “Symmetry is the first principle of facial harmony,” Dr. Jacono says. The principle is also corroborated by studies by New Mexico State University psychologist and researcher Victor Johnston.

The quest for symmetry may account for the popularity of facial implants, injections and sculpting, since they can help achieve balance. This may also explain the rise of asymmetrical haircuts, which can disguise an uneven face.

f you find yourself attracted to Scarlett Johansson’s luscious lips and don’t know why, it may be because full lips can be a measure of a woman’s youth and fertility. High estrogen levels in a post-pubescent woman make lips fuller, but as hormone levels decrease with age, your kisser tends to lose its color and plumpness. It’s clear that people other than Johansson’s husband Ryan Reynolds find this look attractive. A study published in 2003 in the journal “The Angle Orthodontist” found that the fullness of the lips is associated with a person being considered “aesthetically beautiful.”


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