Your Perfect Nose
There is no perfect nose.
But there may be an ideal nose for you.
Your ideal nose is indicated by your face shape, your personality, your age and your ethnicity - and it is therefore entirely unique to you.
There are many different measures that have been used historically for defining a "perfect nose." Some of these measures contradict one another, some are weighted towards one ethnicity more than another.
Ethnicity and The Perfect Nose
Within each ethnic group there is great variety of facial features, and the nose is nose exception. But broadly speaking African American noses will tend to have differing average relationships between nasal features than Caucasian noses. Caucasian noses will tend to differ from normative Hispanic noses. Hispanic noses will have different standards than Asian noses.
My goal as a rhinoplasty surgeon in Los Angeles is not to give everyone the same nose, but instead help you find what brings out the best in your face and in you.
Various Measures Traditionally Used
Below are a handful of different measures that have traditionally been used in rhinoplasty and other fields to define the "perfect nose." They are neither internally consistent nor appropriate for every face, rather they are presented here for reference and a historical perspective
It has been observed that symmetry is a universally accepted characteristic of beauty. We can observe symmetry by dividing the face vertically into thirds, where the nose represents the middle third of the face.
Similarly, if we divide the face horizontally into fifths, we can observe that the nasal width should be approximately equivalent to the width of each eye.
Many individuals who are commonly considered to be attractive have been found to demonstrate near perfect symmetry in their faces. For example, we see that Charlize Theron, recently named the sexiest woman alive, demonstrates exceptional facial symmetry.
Denzel Washington (shown here as a computer rendering), also named one of the sexiest men alive, was calculated to have one of the most symmetrical faces in Hollywood.
Facial proportions that reflect the Golden Ratio are also considered to be universally beautiful. The Golden Ratio, 1.618, is calculated from Fibonacci's Sequence and observed in nature. Sunflower seed patterns, spiraled sea shells, and more famously, Da Vinci's Vetruvian Man demonstrate this aesthetically pleasing ratio that is often utilized by architects and interior designers. Cosmetic surgeons apply this ratio to various measurements on the face. In the following images, each colored line is a golden section of the next. For example, the length of George Clooney's face is 1.618 times the width with his eyes centered at the midpoint.
A facial diagram, called the Marquardt Mask, has been created based on the Golden Ratio to illustrate how certain faces that conform to these ratios are considered beautiful. It is important to recognize that even if faces conform to the same proportional measurements, variations in feature size, shapes, and colors allow for a wide array of cross-cultural beauty that varies with each individual.
The profile of the face, like the frontal view, follows similar guidelines regarding appropriate proportions and angles to improve one's appearance. The Frankfort Line is a "zero" point used as a starting point to calculate various facial angles. This line, shown in red, can be determined by drawing line from the glabella to the tip of the chin, ideally forming a perfectly vertical line. The Frankfort line is drawn on the horizontal from the supratip to above the auricular canal, just above the tragus.
Using these lines, we can visualize angles on the face that can be adjusted to create a more ideal profile. Ideal angular measurements include the following:
Nasofrontal angle: 36°
Nasomental angle: 130°
Nasofacial angle: 120°
Bringing It All Together
It is essential to remember that these proportions are considered guidelines and not exact measurements to follow. While there are generally accepted forms of beauty, we all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and comes in many different forms. In fact, many people embrace their uniqueness and prominent features, such as Adrian Brody or Luke Wilson. In a recent article he wrote, Dr. Rawnsley celebrates this unique beauty in the painting, Madame X.
When considering a rhinoplasty, the most important factor is the artistic eye of your surgeon. During your initial consultation with Dr. Rawnsley, you will have a personal discussion about your goals, and his experienced eye will assist you in creating the perfect nose for your face. You will experience a comprehensive digital imaging and morphing session in which numerous outcomes are explored, ultimately providing you with your ideal outcome.