The Perfect Nose? It’s the One that fits your Face.

By: By Dr. Marcelo Antunes

Throughout the ages, scientists and scholars have been absorbed in the pursuit of what constitutes beauty and the ideal facial and nasal proportions. These challenges date back to Egyptians, Greeks and Renaissance artists. Over the years, “an ideal nose” has been defined and would determine, for example, how turned up the nose should be. In women, the angle between the lip and the nose would be about 95 to 110 degrees and in men, about 90 to 100 degrees. Also, other mathematical proportions determine how far the tip should project from the face were also deemed ideal. That sounds a pretty straightforward way of determining what the perfect nose is. However, despite this classic set of principles, beauty remains an elusive concept. Especially in such a globalized world where individual tastes, cultural influences, modern style and the media (and social media) can all overshadow the original formula.

So, what will make a beautiful nose? What makes it attractive? Is there a perfect nose? These are trick questions. Beauty encompasses not only the proportions and the angles I mentioned, but also, and most importantly, harmony and balance between the facial features and how everything fits together. The Greeks and Egyptians had their perfect nose, as did the Romans, the Koreans and Turks. Our society too, is no exception. We have our own thoughts on what makes a beautiful nose, both for men and for women. In traditional rhinoplasty surgery, the simplest answer was that a beautiful nose is straight, symmetrical and relatively small. However, a quick look at some beauty icons can illustrate that there is more to beauty than math. Gisele Bundchen and Kate Beckinsale, have two very different noses. But both noses are really beautiful and complement their facial features.

Closely related to the nose, an important, and often overlooked feature is the chin. Likewise it should fit with the other facial proportions. Naturally it should be delicate and round in women. In men, the chin is wider, forming a square shape. A small chin can sometimes create the impression of a bigger nose. And a bigger chin can make a beautiful nose look unattractive. This goes to show that balance and harmony is more important than any mathematical formula when taken isolated.

Nonetheless, today, rhinoplasty surgeons avoid the one-size-fits-all approach. Youthfulness and attractiveness is still a common goal, but the latest trends highlight the patient preference, delicacy and the patient’s overall facial features, and very importantly, the patient’s ethnicity. The surgeon cannot rely solely on classic aesthetic standards, which was primarily Caucasian. Today we understand that there are many types of attractive noses, some created by birth, and others by rhinoplasty. And the smallest change can produce huge perceptual impacts; Rhinoplasty is always quoted to be a surgery of millimeters. And always remember: the perfect nose is the one that fits your face.