Aesth Plast Surg DOI 10.



Attractive Composite Faces of Different Races
Seung Chul Rhee • Soo Hyang Lee

Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2010

Existing evidence suggests that the standards of facial attractiveness are similar across genders and cultures [1]. Researchers have reported that the computer-generated, mathematical average of a series of faces was rated more favorably than the individual faces [2]. On the other hand, although some controversy exists regarding the significance of the average and attractive faces, Perrett et al. [3] have insisted that highly attractive facial configurations are not an average. Many authors have reported that the average faces are different from attractive faces and that attractive faces differ considerably according to race [4–8]. I agree with the opinion that the average face is not an attractive face and that the most attractive face is the average of attractive faces. Recently, although some scholars have attempted to unify facial beauty using the concept of the golden proportion, Holland [9, 10] proved that a phi mask, namely, the divine proportion or golden ratio, did not appear to describe the ‘‘ideal’’ face shape and showed the many limitations of traditional morphometrics in research on the

S. C. Rhee (&) Á S. H. Lee Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Inje University, #2240, Daehwa-Dong, Ilsan Seo-Gu, Goyang City, Kyounggi-Do 411-706, Republic of Korea e-mail:

attractiveness of faces. Because I absolutely agree with him, I introduced examples of attractive composite faces from different races in the follow-up article that I submitted [11]. The composite faces in Fig. 1 that exemplify attractive faces of different races were generated using the same computerized morphing systems reported in my previous article [11]. Each example of an attractive face has different characteristics with respect to the average face of its own race. The Japanese composite face is a relatively long face with slightly slanted eyes, sharp chin, and chubby cheeks. The Chinese attractive face has a relatively narrow cheek, slim and thin face, and lantern jaw. The Caucasian attractive face has a somewhat masculine appearance. This face has a narrow palpebral height, angulated and squareshaped mandible, protruding cheek, and fuller lips compared with the average Caucasian face. The example of an African face has a narrower nose, smaller and more acute eyes, smaller upper lip, and slender chin compared with the ordinary African face. Although these composite faces are not the standard or most ideal attractive faces, and although many biases occurred during the process of photographic sampling, I regard these as good examples for understanding prior and current configurations, balance, harmony, or the secret of attractive faces of different races. I insist that the concept of facial beauty is not a fixed one and that it is constantly evolving with time [5]. Therefore, the stereotyped concept of facial beauty must change. Our society is eventually conforming to a single standard, but I do value ethnic and cultural diversity. We must understand cultural diversity and try to respect the beauty of other human races. I think the beauty concept of other races shows some differences from ours. I expect these photographs to be used to understand the aesthetic preference of different races.


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