Still think beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Think again. According to one expert, it's possible to figure out exactly what makes a "perfect" face. And you'll be surprised at how he rates some of today's hottest male and female TV stars.
After 27 years as a practicing oral and facial reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Stephen Marquardt used his professional experience, along with his studies in engineering, to build a patented mask that he believes defines the ideal face. It's based upon a mathematical construction that uses the ancient Greek ratio known as the Golden Mean, a proportion that for centuries has helped artists, architects and others create eye-pleasing forms.
Dr. Marquardt's initial interest in this field of study was inspired by his personal life, beginning at age 4 when his mother suffered a car accident. "She was disfigured," he says, "so I always thought about why, when someone's face changes, you perceive [that] the whole person changes." And then came his teen years: "In high school I was always interested in why I found some girls attractive and not others. All the guys in school were chasing the same three girls and they were the prettiest ones. I was fascinated with how the popular girls got everything, how others were drawn to them because of their beauty."
Later, as a medical doctor, he began his quest for a formula for attractiveness after he realized that not all facial reconstructive procedures actually improved a patient's overall look. "In fact," he says, "sometimes people would look better and sometimes not at all. When I'd do surgery, we'd put the chin where it was supposed to be but it wouldn't work aesthetically because, say, the nose was too small. You have to make everything match and work harmoniously."
So Dr. Marquardt spent years studying, sketching and working with computer programs to create the image and measurements of the perfect face. "I knew I had to find out what the perfect nose, chin, lips, cheeks and jaw were, so I started to reach out to makeup artists from movies and TV and sculptors, painters, and plastic surgeons from all over the world," he says. "I was astounded that nothing had been written of any significance since the thousands-of-years-old rudimentary measurements of the vertical thirds of the face — meaning from the hairline to where the nose starts, down to the tip of the upper lip to the bottom of the chin. All the specialists were focused on their one area and ignoring the whole."
Finally, in 1992, after a breakthrough with the lips portion ("I almost gave up at that point," he remembers), he was able to get his beauty mask patented. Now, Dr. Marquardt devotes his time to speaking to groups about his lifelong work and to private facial analysis and consultations.
So how do some of television's finest faces fare when Dr. Marquardt applies his theories? Here are his verdicts:Teri HatcherPerfect: She has a very pretty face with a big beautiful smile and nice teeth. Less Than Perfect: Her nose is shorter than ideal, which means she needs to accentuate her upper lip. Evangeline LillyPerfect: She has a very pretty face, nice full lips, very nice eyebrows, good forehead and nose and beautiful cheekbones. Less Than Perfect: Her eyes are a little close-set and her jaw is narrow. Eva LongoriaPerfect: She has a very pretty face, beautiful smile, nice full lips and beautiful teeth and forehead. Less Than Perfect: Her eyebrows peak too soon, particularly her left one. (The peak should be at the outside corner of her eye, the tail of the brow should not be lower than the inside top of the brow.) Pamela AndersonPerfect: She has pretty, deep-set eyes with nice, high cheekbones, a pretty chin and a feminine jawline. Less Than Perfect: Her lips, although full, are a little large and her upper lip is quite a bit bigger than her lower lip. Jennifer GarnerPerfect: She has a pretty nose, nice full lips and gorgeous cheeks. Less Than Perfect: She has beautiful brows but they're too closely set; she should open up the distance between them. Tyra BanksPerfect: She has a beautiful nose with a delicate tip. Her beautiful, wide-set eyes and high, well-shaped eyebrows give her an exotic look. Less Than Perfect: Her upper face is exotic but her lower face, with the delicate jawline, is more childlike. Josh HollowayPerfect: He has a nice forehead, masculine brows, good strong nose and a nice jawline with a strong chin. Less Than Perfect: His eyes are slightly sunken. Patrick DempseyPerfect: He has a good forehead, masculine jawline, great hairline and a nice, strong chin. Less Than Perfect: His eyes are narrower than is ideal and his eyebrows are too wide at the top. Taye DiggsPerfect: He has a very masculine face. He has a nice strong chin and jawline, good eyes, good cheeks and a very strong look and profile. Less Than Perfect: His forehead's a little high and his eyebrows are a little too full in the middle, which pulls away from this eyes a bit. Tom WellingPerfect: He's very nice looking, with good eyes, good brows and a nice nose. Less Than Perfect: His chin and jawline are short, giving him a bit of a childlike, feminine look.
Wondering how you stack up against this competition? Intrigued by Dr. Marquardt's ideas? Visit his official website, www.beautyanalysis.com, to find out more.