We’ve all heard that beauty is only skin deep, and while we would all prefer to live in a world where men and women are judged not on their appearance but on the content of their character, scientific research suggests that this is simply not the case. Physical attractiveness has been shown to have a wide array of social consequences, ranging from mate choices and decisions about platonic relationships to hiring decisions and decisions about social exchange. Moreover, what we find attractive seems to be, at least in part, ingrained in our biology. Studies have found that certain key traits, like symmetry, averageness, and healthiness, are considered to be attractive by an extremely diverse range of cultural and ethnic groups. Understanding how these characteristics contribute to facial appearance, and how cosmetic facial plastic surgery procedures can help optimize them, can be an extremely valuable step towards helping you achieve the look, and life, you want.
Symmetry refers to the extent to which one-half of an object (image, organism, etc.) is the same as the other half. While most people are not perfectly symmetrical, most studies conducted in this area have found that the closer the left and right halves of the face are to mimicking one another, the more attractive that face is perceived as being. Accidental injuries or congenital defects can seriously impact facial symmetry, but a variety of facial contouring procedures can be used to correct it.
Averageness refers to how closely a face resembles the majority of other faces within a population; non-average faces have more extreme or exaggerated characteristics than is common. It is believed that average faces are perceived as being more attractive because they are indicators of a more diverse set of genes that are less likely to carry detrimental recessive traits. Abnormally large or small facial features, like a nose or chin for example, can be made more proportional with targeted facial plastic surgery procedures, like rhinoplasty or genioplasty respectively.
People who appear to be healthy and fit are generally perceived as being more youthful and attractive, but many of the most common signs of facial aging can make people appear to be tired or ill. Studies have found that health perception appears to be closely related to facial color and texture, so it is often beneficial to correct uneven skin texture and tone with laser skin resurfacing or a chemical peel. Moreover, the loss of elasticity in aging skin can cause the eyelids to sag and droop, making the face appear tired. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, removes excess fat and skin while tightening the muscles around the eyes (if necessary) in order to improve the look of sagging eyebrows, under eye bags, and drooping eyelids, giving the patient a significantly less tired appearance.
Facial aging can vary dramatically from person to person, and the different areas of the face usually do not age at precisely the same rate. Contact my office and schedule a consultation to find out how you can achieve optimal results with the minimum amount of surgical downtime and discomfort.
About Dr. Fernando D. Burstein, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.P.
Dr. Fernando Burstein is a well-respected Atlanta facial plastic surgeon with board certifications in both plastic and reconstructive surgery and otolaryngology (head and neck surgery.) With nearly thirty years of experience specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery procedures, Dr. Burstein has served as the chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and as a clinical professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Emory University. He has authored and published more than 100 articles and book chapters on facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and has been honored as one of Atlanta Magazine’s Top Doctors, a peer-nominated award in the field of plastic surgery, for the past seven consecutive years.