Photographers and filmmakers have captured images of such icons as Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page and Angelina Jolie and presented them as portrayals of breathtaking wonder, without ever really understanding what makes them “beautiful”.
But what if beauty could be quantified? What if loveliness could be captured in a number? Does that take away from the awe and respect we feel when seeing a beautiful face? Or does it establish a new form of wonder at the creation of such beauty?
The “Golden Ratio” (1.618) represents the mathematical proportions that are considered most pleasing to the human eye. These proportions are visible in almost every arena, both natural and artificial, as a means of expressing perfect shapes. From architecture and art to facial and body contours, the Golden Ratio is visible almost everywhere, if you know where to look.
In mathematics, the Golden Ratio is represented by the Greek letter phi (φ). Just as the Greek letter pi (Π) represents the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter (3.14159), the letter phi also represents the relationship between two sides of a rectangle (1.61803) where the ratio of the larger side to the smaller side is equal to the ratio of both sides to the larger side. One of the major occurrences of the Golden Ratio in mathematics occurs in what is called the Fibonacci Sequence, made famous in the novel and movie The DaVinci Code. In the sequence, each subsequent term is the sum of the two previous terms:
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, and so on…
If you divide each term by the previous term in the sequence, you get closer to the Golden Ratio of 1.168.
The Golden Ratio is not an arbitrary number that humans have developed to determine beauty; it is found everywhere in nature. Plant life exhibits the Golden Ratio in flowers and branches. The number of petals on a flower, or even branches on a tree are the same numbers found in the Fibonacci Sequence. Animals show signs of the Golden Ratio in their biological construction. The nautilus seashell is the most obvious example, as each concentric ring of the spiraling expands in direct proportion to the Golden Ratio. Insects, mammals, birds and fish all display proportions relative to the Golden Ratio.
Applications of Golden Ratio in Art and Nature
Mathematicians, engineers, artists and designers have examined and used the Golden Ratio in their works. Biologists and naturalists have seen this magical proportion represented in everything from the human body to the construction of flower petals. Architects have employed the ratio to build some of the world’s greatest monuments. Modern physicists have used it in studies of crystal structures. Dr. Slupchynskyj addresses and brings facial proportion in line with the Golden Ratio through his Face-lift, Mini Facelift and Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery) techniques.
While the Golden Ratio is apparent in everything from art to nature, can a simple ratio be the key factor in determining what makes a beautiful face? The ratio does appear to relate strongly to aesthetic appreciation of faces, according to a UK study. The research showed that the ratio of the length of a person’s face to its width is 1.618, a close approximation of the Golden Ratio. If one were to take a measurement on an “attractive” face of the distance between the pupil and the center of the chin, and another measurement between the pupil and the end of the nose, the Golden Ratio would appear again in those faces.
Dr. Stephen Marquardt, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon has extensively studied how the Golden Ratio correlates to ideals of female beauty. He has studied artwork and photography from various eras and compared their proportions to those found in the Golden Ratio. He found that the features corresponding to icons of female beauty truly crossed historical, racial and cultural barriers, all while exhibiting proportions at or near the Golden Ratio!
Plastic Surgery, Art and the Golden Ratio
Artists have employed the Golden Ratio in everything from canvas size to composition to facial structure. In most canvases used for painting, the Golden Ratio can be found in ratio of the long side of the canvas to the short side. Leonardo da Vinci used the Golden Ratio (then known as the “Divine Proportion”) extensively in his famous painting, “The Last Supper”. Surrealist artist Salvador Dali also replicated this effect in his “Sacrament of the Last Supper”, and artists such as Georges Pierre Seurat and Edward Burne Jones employed the ratio in their works.
We know beauty in art and nature is based on the Golden Ratio, (i.e. mathematical proportions). A doctor’s ability to operate successfully is based on his/her knowledge and understanding of scientifically proven facial proportions and surgical skill. While being an artist does not determine a doctor’s ability as a surgeon, it does have applications with a surgeon’s aesthetic sensibility. Dr. Slupchynskyj sculpts nasal implants to fit the exact proper proportions of a patient’s nose and face. Each implant is different than any other. This is because a patient’s nose and face are different than any other. Dr. Slupchynskyj customizes every facial cosmetic procedure to enhance that patient’s facial proportions and bring them into alignment with the Golden Ratio.
Funny Tidbit – The Golden Ratio App!
With today’s smartphones, a new app can determine how one’s features fit within the Golden Ratio. The developer of the Ugly Meter app has created a program that can measure the facial features and determine how closely their proportions come to the Golden Ratio. This app, top seller at Apple’s iTunes Store, rated Brad Pitt at 91 and Angelina Jolie at 86 on its 100 point scale.