Wednesday, 25 April 2012
I'm not the sharpest 1 in the equation when it comes to mathematics, but 18-year-old Florence Colgate doesn't need to rely on a cute angle to display her near-perfect symmetry. In fact, her face is so symmetrical that they're turning it into a religious symbol.
While they aren't exactly going to those lengths yet, Colgate was crowned winner of ITV's competition for Britain's "perfect face." As per the rules, plastic surgery and make-up would immediately disqualify a contestant. Furthermore, the thinly veiled pageant which had thousands of participants, aimed to spread a noble message to women everywhere: You don't need make-up to be beautiful! Butter faces everywhere collectively sighed and melted as the hot knife of beauty cut through their glum visages.
Florence Colgate (who admits to sometimes wearing a light foundation along with mascara and a concealer) states, "Women should not have to feel that they have to wear make-up. I hope people will look at me and think they don't need to. I'm very happy with the way I look and I would never have any plastic surgery or Botox." It's an easy statement to make when publications like Dare Magazine are glorifying you for having a perfect ratio between the eyes, mouth, forehead and chin.
Do other women have to work on their confidence to overcome dissatisfaction and find beauty, or is it simply mathematic?
As PhD student Carmen Lefèvre from the University of St Andrews puts it, "Florence has all the classic signs of beauty. She has large eyes, high cheekbones, full lips and a fair complexion. Symmetry appears to be a very important cue to attractiveness." Indeed, there are studies supporting the idea that facial symmetry plays a role in attraction. R.J. Edler, an orthodontist in Britain, asserts that fluctuating asymmetry which happens over the course of one's lifespan, is a sign of stress on the phenotype. As a result, an asymmetrical face shows that the individual is more prone to disease which could be passed onto the offspring, and as such, it makes for a less desirable mate.
In other words, our perception of attractiveness has an evolutionary basis. Subsequently, we can conclude that evolution wasn't very kind to Rumer Willis.
One must always note however, that there are many factors when it comes to attractiveness. Symmetry is only one part of the equation; breast and penis size play an equally important role. New questions now arise like: Are breasts with asymmetrical areolae less attractive? Is a penis that curves westward less pleasing to look at? What is the perfect "firm/jiggle" ratio for the buttocks? One can only cover so much in an article of clothing like the trendy, monochrome deep v-neck shirt.
What of ITV's message that women should strive for natural beauty?
To put it bluntly, wear make-up if you want to. There's nothing wrong with caking up your face and looking like you were bobbing for blow in a pie bath. Be subtle, get creative, make art, go to clown school. Some men prefer make-up, others don't. Some don't even have an opinion on it. Just remember, if the expression on his face is frightful the next morning, you probably overdid it.
Personality and compatibility still matter; don't misconstrue the message. The studies have some truth to them, however. Florence Colgate may not be everyone's cup of tea, but that isn't the point of the article or the various studies. The goal was to prove that there's a correlation between facial symmetry and attraction. It isn't about the color of her hair, skin or eyes—it's about proportions.
Regarding the sub-topic about the use of make-up, they're not being militaristic or saying you should never wear make-up, but I do see the humor in this. They constructed a beauty competition while suggesting that women should be proud of their natural features and skin. It's counterproductive to sell the idea of natural beauty by parading around perfectly symmetrical, blemish-free faces. A more likely result is an increase in the use make-up tricks to create that symmetrical look.
I think there are better ways to go about this, but it would have to start with untouched images of celebrities and average people in magazine ads or on television. I'll hit the jackpot, cure cancer, and turn mayonnaise into a renewable energy resource before that ever happens. Mathematically, the odds are as asymmetrical as it gets.
Do you believe symmetry is a large factor in determining attraction? What's your stance on the use of make-up? Would you date Florence Colgate?
Nunez Love Doctor.
Certified with a PhD in Asstrophysics & The Study of the Areola Borealis.