Beauty is symmetry - yrtemmys si ytuaeB

A soldier motif from a temple door from Bangkok.

I watched an interesting documentary from BBC Knowledge. The show was called The Human Face (BBC 2001). The episode was Survival of the Prettiest and it examined the symmetry of human face and how it is related to people's conception of beauty.

The show revealed that people with symmetric facial features are more often considered beautiful than people with asymmetric features. There is even a connection with the golden ratio and attractiveness of facial features. Model Elizabeth Hurley was used as an example. The mask below was compared to her face and her features matched exactly to the mask's symmetry. The same was done to Tom Cruise's face and other famous faces often considered beautiful. The results were always the same, symmetry is beauty.

This is, however, only one side to defining beauty. It is in the eye of the beholder where the beauty lies. Still, the symmetry theory gives me a new perspective how to look people and the next time when I see a beautiful person, I will certainly look whether there is symmetry.

Read more about facial symmetry here (PDF).

Picture from the BBC show The Human Face.

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