For the average face, the ideal Caucasian female lip dimensions are a 1:2 ratio of upper to lower lip, and a roughly 50% enhancement in total lip surface area, according to findings in a recent article published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.
“Research in facial attractiveness is difficult because of the inherent subjectivity of rating,” lead author Natalie Popenko, MS, a third-year medical student at Chicago Medical School, tells Cosmetic Surgery Times.
“Most people can look at a face and instinctively tell you whether that face is attractive or not, by subconsciously picking up on biologic cues like fertility, coloration and proportions,” she says.
The researchers used synthetic morph frontal digital images of the faces of 20 white women, ages 18 to 25 years, to generate five varied lip surfaces for each face. These 100 faces were cardinally ranked by attractiveness.
Later, four variants for each of the 15 highest-ranked faces were created, for a total of 60 faces. The upper to lower lip ratio for each of these 60 faces were then rated by attractiveness by internet focus groups (428 participants).
Co-author Brian Wong, M.D., PhD, a professor and head of facial plastic surgery at the University of California, Irvine, says that relating upper lip surface area to lower lip surface area “is a rather crude measure, but it is also very telling.”
The investigators described the average face as one in which facial features are all well-proportioned to each other. “As they are renowned worldwide for their facial attractiveness, I think the Victoria’s Secret models can be easily compared,” Ms. Popenko says.
Image measuring software was used to measure a few accessible profile images. “Models Alessandra Ambrosio and Miranda Kerr fit the 1:2 ratio well,” Ms. Popenko observes. “However, their counterparts Doutzen Kroes and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley fit a 1:1 ratio, which goes to show that whole faces are greater than the sum of their parts.”
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