So You Think You’re Beautiful?

¨Beauty is in the eye of the beholder¨ is one of the most over used adages in the world of fashion and beauty. It is also thought to be linked to era, culture, race or the current mood of the zeitgeist. However, what if I was to tell you that any claim to being beautiful can be verified by a scientific ratio? Phi Φ or 1.62 (when rounded to 2 decimal places.) It has been used all throughout history from Fibonacci numbers in India, Feng Shui in Asia and divine proportions. This ratio 1:1.6180339 (or 1.62) is the exact proportion of nature and symmetry and it occurs everywhere around us. Leonardo Da Vinci even used this figure when developing the famous ´Vitruvian Man´ illustration and then before this, further back to the construction of the pyramids some 4600 years ago.


This miraculous ratio also appears in the biological world as well, such as the branching in trees, the arrangement of leaves on a stem, the fruit sprouts of a pineapple, the flowering of an artichoke, and uncurling fern and the arrangement of a pine cone.


With regards to humans, the aesthete and beauty, the idea is that the closer a face or an object is to the number 1.62 then the more beautiful it becomes. A study completed in America by Nebraska University stated that a smaller nose and chin, with a larger distance between the eyes and a smaller mouth were the most desired traits for the classical definition of beauty.


Harnessing the power of mathematics and laws of proportions, the symmetry of the face can be accurately measured. The closer your ´results´ are to 1.62, then the more ´beautiful´ you are. The easiest calculation is the length of your face divided by the widest part of your face.

Not surprisingly, many household names and Hollywood stars possess this gift; Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise amongst the best known subjects.


Try out the theory and substantiate your claim with the simple activity below;


  • a = Top of head (1) to chin (2) = cm
  • b = Top of head (1) to pupil (3) = cm
  • c = Pupil (3) to nose tip (4) = cm
  • d = Pupil (3) to lip (5) = cm
  • e = Width of nose (6 to 7) = cm
  • f = Outside distance between eyes (8 to 9) = cm
  • g = Width of head (10 to 11) = cm
  • h = Hair line (12) to pupil (3) = cm
  • i = Nose tip (4) to chin (2) = cm
  • j = Lips (5) to chin (2) = cm
  • k = Length of lips (13 to 14) = cm
  • l = Nose tip (4) to lips (5) = cm

Now, find the ratios. 1.62 is golden

  • a/g = cm
  • b/d = cm
  • i/j = cm
  • i/c = cm
  • e/l = cm
  • f/h = cm
  • k/e = cm