Despite Margaret Wolfe Hungerford’s truism “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, the features that make an attractive face are proven by many researchers to be universally programmed into the human consciousness. Symmetry, harmony and balance are hallmarks of a beautiful face and youthful plump skin with smooth texture is also a significant pre-requisite. Phi, the Golden Ratio of buying college papers online1:1.618, is often noted in analyses of beauty, both organic and inorganic. Also called the “Divine Proportion”, it is said to be the dominant proportion in attractive faces of ALL ethnicities. Dr Stephen Marquardt, a surgeon based in California, who wrote extensively on facial beauty and devised the “Marquardt Mask” which attempts to mathematically quantify the “perfect” face, declared that the image of beauty is, in fact, the image of “Humanness”. Our ability to very quickly assess the aesthetic qualities upon our first encounter with a potential mate represents a genetic expression or impulse to seek the best possible mate for the propagation of our genome. Humans and animals alike seek the most healthy, physically robust, youthful and seemingly “perfect” mate for bonding, protection and survival. ‘Attractiveness’ is our visible clue to the invisible DNA that dictates anatomy. But perhaps the most important aspect of an ‘attractive’ face is the reflection of an inner beauty that is expressed best by smiles. A face that smiles, irrespective of its anatomical perfection, brings joy to many.

Perfection in appearance is a nebulous concept and the drive to pursue this unrealistic goal can, in fact, be a symptom of a psychiatric condition called Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Despite that, surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures, when expertly formulated and performed, can materialise reasonable expectations of patients who wish to change parts of their appearance. An example can be an aesthetic and functional rhinoplasty for a patient who desires to correct nose asymmetry. In 2017, 17.5 million aesthetic procedures were performed in USA and out that total about 15.7 million procedures were minimally invasive ones such as injections of muscle relaxants or soft tissue fillers. The advent of these safe and effective office procedures has spearheaded the significant increase in the number of people who undergo aesthetic procedures. The more liberal attitude towards cosmetic procedures and the relentless media focus on beauty, coupled with the prevalent culture of “selfies”, have also driven this trend that increases with each successive year.

Mr Terry Wu
Plastic Surgeon